Dr Scott A. Hale

 Dr Scott A. Hale

Scott A. Hale is a Data Scientist analysing large-scale data using techniques from computer science and other fields to answer social science questions. He has particular interests in human-computer interaction, collective action, and bilingualism.


Scott A. Hale is a Data Scientist at the OII. He develops and applies techniques from computer science to research questions in the social sciences. He is particularly interested in the area of human-computer interaction and the spread of information between speakers of different languages online and the roles of bilingual Internet users. He is also interested in collective action and politics more generally.

Scott manages the Oxford Experimental Laboratory (OxLab), which runs economic and political science laboratory and field experiments to investigate the effect of different information environments on collective action and the impact of different types of government provision on citizens' information seeking behaviour.

Scott graduated with degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Spanish from Eckerd College, FL, USA. During his time at Eckerd, he published computer science research in the area of image processing while working on a larger research project called Darwin. After graduating, he worked in Okinawa, Japan, at the Okinawa Prefectural Education Centre with public school teachers to develop English immersion curricula and with IT professionals to deliver continuing education training through the Internet to staff members and students on outlying islands. He came to the OII as a master's candidate in October 2009 and subsequently began his DPhil (PhD) at the OII in October 2010. His DPhil research concentrated on how the design of social media platforms affects the amount of information shared across language divides.

Selected Publications

Margetts, H., John, P., Hale, S., and Yasseri, T. (2015) Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action. Princeton University Press.

Hale, S.A. (2014) Global Connectivity and Multilinguals in the Twitter Network. In Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'14, ACM.

Hale, S.A. (2014) Multilinguals and Wikipedia Editing. In Proceedings of the 2014 ACM conference on Web science (WebSci '14). ACM.

Hale, S. A. (2012) Net Increase? Cross-lingual Linking in the Blogosphere. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication.

Research interests

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), information diffusion, social network analysis (SNA), large-scale data, experiments, visualization, complex systems

Positions held at the OII

  • DPhil Alumnus, August 2015 -
  • Data Scientist, January 2015 -
  • DPhil Student, October 2010 - January 2015
  • Research Assistant, May 2010 - December 2014


Current projects

  • NEXUS: Real Time Data Fusion and Network Analysis for Urban Systems

    September 2015 - August 2017

    Mining human mobility and migration patterns from social media and industry data sources as well as visualizing geo-temporal network data interactively with HTML5.

  • Human Translation of User-Generated Content

    August 2015 - December 2016

    Understanding what translation rating/voting systems work best for human, crowd-sourced translation and the optimal display of translated content.

  • Gorongosa Webcam

    May 2015 - December 2016

    The aim of this project is to conduct research in innovative citizen science, building on existing work by both the Oxford Internet Institute and by the Zooniverse team in the Department of Physics.

  • Elections and the Internet

    April 2015 -

    This site collects elections research at the OII. We are interested in exploring the extent to which data from the social web can be used to predict interesting social and political phenomena, especially elections.

  • Wikipedia's Networks and Geographies: Representation and Power in Peer-Produced Content

    November 2010 -

    This project brings together OII research fellows and doctoral students to shed light on the incorporation of new users and information into the Wikipedia community.

  • OXLab: Oxford eXperimental Laboratory

    October 2006 -

    Oxford eXperimental Laboratory is undertaking laboratory-based experiments (eg information-seeking tasks) on networked computers in two disciplines: Economics (interactive decision making) and Political Science (evaluating government information online).

  • Government on the Web

    October 1999 -

    Research dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of e-government and the impact of web-based technologies on government.

Past projects





  • Margetts, H., Hale, S. A., and Yasseri, T. (2014) Big Data and Collective Action. In M.Graham and W.H.Dutton (eds) Society and the Internet: How information and social networks are changing our lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Conference papers


  • Hale, S. A. (2011) Marketing campaigns for multiple language communities online. Huddle Mindshare, London, 3 November 2011.
  • Hale, S. A., Petzold, T. and Liao, H. (2011) Language and the Internet: Developing a language-intelligent approach. Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany, 28 October 2011.
  • Hale, S. A. (2011) Net Increase? Cross-lingual Linking in the Blogosphere. Nuffield–OII Social Networks Seminar, University of Oxford, 31 January 2011.
  • Hale, S. A. (2010) Cross-lingual Knowledge Sharing Online: Blogging the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, 11 November 2010.
  • Stewman, J., Debure, K., Hale, S. and Russell, A. (2006) Iterative 3-D Pose Correction and Content-Based Image Retrieval for Dorsal Fin Recognition [Presentation Slides]. Presented at the International Conference on Image Analysis and Recognition (ICIAR), September 2006.


  • Bright, J., Margetts, H., Hale, S. and Yasseri, T. (2014) The use of social media for research and analysis: a feasibility study. Report of research carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. DWP ad hoc research report no. 13.
  • Oostveen, A., Meyer, E., Cobo, C., Hjorth, I., Reisdorf, B., Papoutsi, C., Power, L., Abdel-Sattar, N., Hale, S. and Waldburger, M. (2011) First Year Report on Scientific Workshop. SESERV Deliverable D1.2, Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects FP7-2010-ICT-258138-CSA.
  • Graham, M., Hale, S. A. and Stephens, M. (2011) Geographies of the World's Knowledge. London, Convoco! Edition.
  • Hale, S.A. (2008) A New Approach to Unsupervised Thresholding for Automatic Extraction of Dolphin Dorsal Fin Outlines from Digital Photographs in DARWIN. The Eckerd Scholar 2008. Eckerd College, 65-74.


Working papers


Hale, S. (forthcoming) Cross-language exchanges, information diversity, and performance of online communities. DPhil Thesis, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.





  • Updated plugin and future development

    Interactive Visualizations on 11 Apr 2016 03:12AM

    Released in 2012, the sigma.js plugin for Gephi allows for the interactive display of network data in a web browser using open-source technologies, principally sigma.js. The HTML framework and Gephi plugin were a collaborative effort by Scott A. Hale, [...]

  • Multilingualism research featured in The Guardian

    Scott Hale on 28 May 2015 15:36PM

    A recent article in the Guardian newspaper by Holly Yong surveys much research about online language divides, including my work on multilingualism and cross-language bridging: Translation technologies offer one solution to bridging online language [...]

  • Design for multilinguals: Seemingly simple yet often missed

    Scott Hale on 27 Apr 2014 13:47PM

    As I prepare my slides for CHI 2014, I’m struck by one implication I give for the research I will present on language and Twitter, “Allow each user to have a set of multiple preferred languages;” or, more simply: consider … [...]

  • Interactive map of Twitter mentions in geotagged tweets

    Scott Hale on 12 Jan 2013 01:29AM

    I recently had the pleasure of building my first interactive map visualization using Leaflet with Joshua R. Melville and the Floatingsheep team, who have written more about the methodology. I'm drafting more about developing the visualization itself, but [...]

  • Build your own interactive network

    Interactive Visualizations on 15 Nov 2012 11:27AM

    Similar to the map builder, there is a web-based version of the network builder under development. The web based version is useful as it provides immediate feedback on a new interactive visualization — due to browser security restrictions the [...]

  • Build your own interactive map

    Interactive Visualizations on 11 Nov 2012 15:03PM

    After initial testing in our closed beta period, the InteractiveVis team is very happy to open the Interactive Map Builder to everyone. All you need is some interesting data at a country level — or use our literacy data to start. Information about [...]

  • Interactive Maps

    Scott Hale on 5 Nov 2012 21:03PM

    Update: 6 November 2012 – US map featured in the Guardian. I’ve not blogged for a while on this site, because I’ve been doing lots of blogging on the InteractiveVis project site. InteractiveVis is a project to create easy to … [...]

  • US election zoom-in

    Interactive Visualizations on 5 Nov 2012 20:55PM

    Update: 6 November 2012 – Featured in the Guardian. Interactive world maps are great, but the excitement over the US Presidential Election left us wanting to get a bit more detail. Data collected by Mark Graham, Adham Tamer, Ning Wang, and I (Scott [...]

  • Network visualization lunchtime talk

    Interactive Visualizations on 29 Oct 2012 11:44AM

    Scott Hale, of the InteractiveVis project team, will lead an introductory talk on network visualization next Wednesday, 7 November at Oxford’s IT Services. All from the university are welcome to this free event. The talk will cover basic steps to collect, [...]

  • Preparing data to create your own interactive map

    Interactive Visualizations on 24 Oct 2012 22:26PM

    Behind every visualization is data. After some extensive internal testing we are preparing to release a wizard to create map visualizations next week. This wizard will require the data in spreadsheet form as a Google Spreadsheet. (We’d welcome suggestions [...]

  • Updated with IE-compatibility, conference appearance, wizard coming soon

    Interactive Visualizations on 29 Sep 2012 13:15PM

    Internet Explorer Compatibility The Interactive Visualizations are standards compliant, but not all browsers are. We are relying on the Sigma.js framework to display network visualizations. This library loads networks from an XML (gexf) file and displays [...]

  • Language Bubbles

    Scott Hale on 3 Sep 2012 13:06PM

    Eli Pariser has raised awareness that personalization algorithms play in filtering and ranking results on the web. I think this work is very important, but another strand seemingly obvious, but surprisingly lacking study, is the role that language plays. [...]

  • Feedback Needed: Interactive map demo

    Interactive Visualizations on 23 Aug 2012 04:13AM

    skip to the demo… As with the network diagrams discussed earlier, geographic data can often benefit from the ability to be explored in an interactive manner. The World Bank has many statistics on a per country basis as do other organizations. The [...]

  • Feedback Needed: Interactive network diagram demos

    Interactive Visualizations on 8 Aug 2012 09:45AM

    This post lays out some of the importance of interactivity for network diagrams and we think is well worth a read (or at least a skim!); however, if you wish to skip to the demos, these are linked at the end of the post. Visualizing network data is a [...]

  • Existing tools and OII InteractiveVis approach

    Interactive Visualizations on 8 Aug 2012 09:15AM

    From the beginning of this project, we have been keen to build upon the best of the existing tools and not “reinvent the wheel.” At the same time, however, we have set ourselves some unique parameters to allow the widest use of visualizations [...]

  • Beyond Books slide presentation

    Interactive Visualizations on 31 Jul 2012 10:21AM

    The OII InteractiveVis team has been busy at work and anticipates an exciting release of two demo visualizations extremely soon. In the meantime, there is lots to share, and I wanted to share one item now (can you tell we’re more into coding than [...]

  • Recent contacts working on cross-language problems

    Scott Hale on 13 Jul 2012 18:09PM

    I’ve recently been able to meet some spectacular individuals who are working on various aspects of cross-language communication. This blog post won’t to justice to all of their work; so, please click to their websites and learn more. Irene [...]

  • Underway

    Interactive Visualizations on 7 Jun 2012 15:22PM

    We’re very excited to be starting this project and getting underway. Initial project meetings have mapped out our timeline and initial goals and now we’re off to survey some of the existing libraries available for producing interactive visualizations at a [...]

  • Welcome, InteractiveVis project vision

    Interactive Visualizations on 16 May 2012 07:16AM

    The InteractiveVis project, funded by JISC from May to September 2012, aims to allow easy creation of interactive visualisations for geospatial and network data using native web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, and SVG) and allow these visualisations to be [...]

  • Need your vote (if .ac.uk email)! — Interactive visualization development

    Scott Hale on 23 Mar 2012 11:28AM

    Update: 25 June 2012 The project has been choosen by JISC to receive funding. Further information on the project and status updates will be communicated via the InteractiveVis project blog. Update: 27 March 2012 We’ve been successful in getting 150 [...]