This conference explores whether social science researchers should embrace social media, and the likely impact on their methods and practices.

Should social science researchers embrace social media and, if we do, what will that mean for our methods and practice? A team led by NatCen Social Research, Sage and the Oxford Internet Institute have been awarded a grant from the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) to explore these questions and examine the impact of social media on social science research. Our network of methodological innovation will bring together academics, researchers and research stakeholders. It will be drawn from an international audience and include cutting-edge thinkers from academia, market research and applied social research.

The network is free to join, will run for 12 months from May 2012, and is open to anyone with an interest in how social media are affecting what we research, how we research and who we involve with our research. Using a combination of collaborative online platforms, social media and face-to-face events, participants will come together to shape the agenda for the network and explore a range of methodological issues. If you would like to join the network, please email Kandy Woodfield ( with your contact details or check the network’s webpage.

This conference is the network’s opening event. Grant Blank is the OII representative to the Network; Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon will speak at the opening conference.