Florian Keusch, Frauke Kreuter
Digital trace data. Modes of data collection, applications, and errors at a glance

Pp. 100-118 in: Uwe Engel, Anabel Quan-Haase, Sunny Liu, Lars E. Lyberg (Eds.): Handbook of Computational Social Science. Volume 1. Theory, Case Studies and Ethics. 2022. London: Routledge

Digital traces left by individuals when they act or interact online provide researchers with new opportunities for studying social and behavioral phenomena. This chapter covers digital trace data and their use in the computational social sciences. Key to a successful use of digital trace data is a clear vision of the research goals. Knowing how to match available data and research needs is just as important as the evaluation of data quality. Challenges lie in finding the right measures to ensure reproducibility and replicability. Creating sufficient transparency when working with digital trace data might be even harder than it already is with traditional data sources.