Approval for collecting forum posts for a research study

Greetings everyone!

I am a researcher from University of Washington. I am posting to seek approval for collecting data from the Open Human forum for my research study on how self-research hobbyists collaboratively learn data science in online community.

My specific research activities will involve 1) exporting public discussion messages in the Open Human forum and public Jupyter notebooks, including public meta data such as user names, time stamps, number of likes and views; 2) conducting content analysis on forum messages and markdown texts and code comments in Jupyter notebooks. The goal is to understand how community members engage in collaborative learning activities such as feedback exchange and knowledge building, what information gets shared, and how user behaviors map to or differ from existing frameworks of data science learning.

All data will only be collected from public user activities under supervision of the site admins, saved securely on our lab server, used only for the purpose of research, and will be deleted from our server after the study.

Please vote Approve or Deny, and/or comment.

Please comment, DM, or send me a slack message if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks!

Best,
Regina Cheng

1 Like

Approve and good luck

I think forum posts & other public forum data are pretty uncontroversial, but I love the meta & I think folks would be interested in anything you find (if anything)!

In case it helps, there’s Discourse APIs you can use to automate retrieving JSON-structured information: https://docs.discourse.org/

I think there’s also some command line tools for admins to use, e.g. here https://meta.discourse.org/t/topic-and-category-export-import/38930 but my time is pretty limited these days so if API methods work for you that’d be easiest. :slight_smile:

1 Like