New funding for social media database

New funding for social media database

New funding for social media database

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Social Science Research Center (SSRC) researchers received new support to expand access to a database of social media reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this new funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team will build data visualization tools such as topic modeling, sentiment analysis, word clouds, and time series charts from the COVID-19 Online Prevalence of Emotions in Institutions database (COPE-ID).

The database built through previous funding from NSF, contains online discussions of COVID-19 from multiple social media platforms, including posts about emotions like fear and anxiety, and social institutions, such as healthcare and family.

Both the previous and current projects are led by Megan Stubbs-Richardson, an assistant research professor. For this project, Assistant Research Professor Sujan Anreddy and Terri Hernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication will serve as Co-PIs.

Within the data visualization tool, users will be able to estimate the prevalence of topics in the larger database using topic modeling algorithms among other data analytical tools. Users will also be able to export data into relevant samples for further quantitative or qualitative inquiry, or code data within the system. The development of this data visualization tool will provide researchers of all skill levels with improved access to a large publicly available dataset on how people coped throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stubbs-Richardson indicated that “this tool is vital to improving social scientists' access to social media data where social scientists can test social science theories explaining human behavior using user-generated big data in ways that have not been possible previously.”

Over the next two years, the team will develop tools that help users access pieces of this large social media dataset for qualitative or content analysis. For more information on the COPE-ID, visit

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