Dr Scott A. Hale

Dr Scott A. Hale is a Senior Data Scientist and Turing Faculty Fellow developing and applying techniques from computer science to the social sciences. He has particular interests in multilingualism & user experience and mobilization/collective action.

Email: scott.hale@oii.ox.ac.uk

Dr Scott A. Hale is a Senior Data Scientist at the OII and a Faculty Fellow of the Turing Institute. He develops and applies techniques from computer science to research questions in the social sciences. His research has investigated the spread of information between speakers of different languages online, the roles of bilingual Internet users, collective action and mobilization, and human mobility.

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 then completed his DPhil (PhD) at the department in 2015. His DPhil research concentrated on how the design of social media platforms affects the amount of information shared across language divides.

Selected Publications

Hale, S. and Eleta, I. (2017) Foreign-language Reviews: Help or Hindrance?, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

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), bilingualism, applications of machine learning, social network analysis (SNA), experiments, visualization, complex systems

Positions held at the OII

  • Senior Data Scientist, June 2016 –
  • Data Scientist, January 2015 – May 2016
  • DPhil Student, October 2010 – January 2015
  • Research Assistant, May 2010 – December 2014
  • MSc Student, October 2009 – August 2010

Latest blog posts

Current projects

  • Elections and the Internet

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Taha Yasseri, Dr Jonathan Bright

    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.

  • Government on the Web

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Scott A. Hale, Simon Bastow, Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Oliver Pearce, Jane Tinkler

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

  • Human Translation of User-Generated Content

    Participants: Dr Scott A. Hale

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

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

    Participants: Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Graham McNeill

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

  • OXLab: Oxford eXperimental Laboratory

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Nir Vulkan, Dr Scott A. Hale, Ingrid Boxall, Professor Peter John, Lucy Bartlett

    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).

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

    Participants: Dr Han-Teng Liao, Dr Bernie Hogan, Professor Mark Graham, Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Heather Ford

    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.

Past projects


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

Conference papers

Journal articles


  • Bright, J., Margetts, H.Z., Wang, N. and Hale, S.A. (2015) Explaining Usage Patterns in Open Government Data: The Case of Data.Gov.UK.
  • Park, S., Kim, S., Hale, S.A., Kim, S., Byun, J. and Oh, A. (2015) Multilingual Wikipedia: Editors of primary language contribute to more complex articles.
  • Hale, S.A., John, P., Margetts, H. and Yasseri, T. (2014) Investigating Political Participation and Social Information Using Big Data and a Natural Experiment.
  • Bright, J.M., Margetts, H., Hale, S. and Yasseri, T. (2014) "The use of social media for research and analysis: a feasibility study" In: Report of research carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Margetts, H.Z., John, P., Reissfelder, S. and Hale, S.A. (2012) Social Influence and Collective Action: An Experiment Investigating the Effects of Visibility and Social Information Moderated by Personality.
  • Graham, M., Hale, S. and Stephens, M. (2011) Geographies of the World's Knowledge.
  • Oostveen, A., Meyer, E., Cobo, J., 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. and Stephens, M. (2011) Geographies of the World's Knowledge. London.
  • Hale, S. (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.
  • Accessing Research Data from the Social Web

    This course teaches the essentials of programming in Python, the language of choice in the growing field of computational social science.

  • Information Visualization

    This course aims to provide students with the skills to take advantage of visualization tools and data, through an introduction to information visualization theory, as well as basic practical skills in creating effective visuals.

  • Foreign-language Reviews: Help or Hindrance? (CHI2017)

    Recorded: 2 February 2017

    Duration: 00:05:14

    Dr Scott A. Hale tests the impact of foreign-language reviews on the perceived helpfulness of all reviews using an experiment, and finds use of translation buttons clearly separated individuals with positive and negative attitudes.

  • The ATI Fellow Short Talks: Dr Scott Hale

    Recorded: 2 December 2016

    Duration: 00:25:21

    In the Alan Turin Institute's Fellow Talks, Dr Scott A. Hale talks about social data science and its application to bilingualism.

  • Okinawa in Japanese and English Wikipedia

    Recorded: 26 April 2016

    Duration: 00:03:17

    This is a video summary of a extended abstract and poster presented at the 2014 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM (Montreal, Canada).

  • How Much Interaction Is There Between Wikipedia’s Language Editions?

    Recorded: 15 January 2016

    Duration: 00:15:01

    Presentation on Scott Hale's Wikipedia research, on the occasion of Wikipedia's 15th Birthday.

  • Modelling the Rise in Internet-based Petitions

    Recorded: 8 November 2013

    Duration: 00:17:39

    The launch of online government petition platforms allows for the passive study of all petitions to government. Scott Hale gives a brief overview of OII findings related to three government petition platforms and the future directions being pursued.

  • Quantitative Methods in Social Media Research: Data Visualization

    Recorded: 26 September 2012

    Duration: 00:10:55

    Scott Hale discusses visualisation during a seminar on quantitative methods in social media research held at the OII on 26 September 2012. How can we visualise data collected by social media? How does visualisation relate to statistical analysis?

  • Language Bubbles

    Recorded: 3 September 2012

    Duration: 00:10:19

    Scott Hale, University of Oxford, at St Antony's International Review, 2012 Panel Discussion.