Early social science research about Big Data

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Jan Youtie; Alan L. Porter; Ying Huang
Science and Public Policy 2016

This paper addresses examines social science research on ‘Big Data’ -- an emerging technology of wide interest. This paper analyzes a dataset of fields extracted from 488 social science and humanities papers written about Big Data. Our focus is on understanding the multi-dimensional nature of societal assessment by examining the references upon which these papers draw. We find that eight sub-literatures are important in framing social science research about Big Data. These results indicate that the field is evolving from general sociological considerations toward applications issues and privacy concerns. Implications for science policy and technology assessment of societal implications are discussed.