Josh Cowls

 Josh Cowls

Josh Cowls works on the Accessing and Using Big Data to Advance Social Science Knowledge project, having previously completed an MSc at the OII.

Profile

Josh Cowls joined the OII as a Research Assistant in 2013, to work on the Sloan Foundation-funded project on Accessing and Using Big Data to Advance Social Science Knowledge.

Previously, Josh obtained a BA in History and Politics from the University of Exeter and an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet from the OII. For his MSc thesis he investigated whether and how the online social network Twitter impacts on the traditional agenda setting relationship between the media, politicians and the public.

Josh also has experience in front-line politics, having worked in the Policy Unit of a UK political party and on US presidential and senate campaigns. His research interests include the impact of big data sets on democracy and government, and the new forms and functions of the public sphere facilitated by online social networks.

Research interests

big data, political participation, e-government, agenda setting theory, social networks

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Assistant, September 2013 -
  • MSc Student, October 2012 - August 2013

Research

Current projects

  • Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities

    January 2014 - March 2015

    The Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities project works with data derived from the UK domain crawl from 1996 to 2013, in order to develop a framework for the study of web archive data and produce a major history of the UK web space.

Past projects

  • Accessing and Using Big Data to Advance Social Science Knowledge

    October 2012 - May 2014

    The project will follow 'big data' from its public and private origins through open and closed pathways into the social sciences, and document and shape the ways they are being accessed and used to create new knowledge about the social world.

Publications

Conference papers

Presentations

  • Cowls, J. (2014) Mapping the UK Webspace: the topology of a national web domain. Presentation to 'Web Archiving and Archived Web — a new Research Method, a new Object of Study?', Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, June 2014.

Reports

News

  • Why big data has some big problems when it comes to public policy

    28 August 2014 Washington Post

    A feature on the this year’s Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conference mentions a presentation by Josh Cowls.

  • The Bill Heine Show

    1 June 2014 BBC Radio Oxford

    Josh Cowls joined the Sunday morning discussion show on local BBC Radio Oxford talking about the upsides and downsides of social media. (c17:44 on the clock)

Blog