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Councils urged to negotiate access to social-media data

Academics are calling on the UK research councils to strike a deal with social-media companies so that researchers can share more of the companies’ data.

Research teams that use data from social media have to negotiate access on a project-by-project basis or pay for data through third-party aggregators such as United States companies Gnip or Datasift.

Several academics have told Research Fortnight that the research councils should step in to help with such negotiations. “There needs to be some agreement in place,” says Rob Procter, a professor of social informatics at the University of Warwick. “Twitter data, for example, are very expensive.”

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