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Text mining & text analysis

This guide contains resources for researchers about text mining and text analysis (sometimes known as distant reading).

Why use text mining/analysis in your research?

"Researchers from all corners of academia and the private and public sectors are collecting and analyzing textual data from online platforms, and they are using this data to answer questions about social attitudes, trends and fashions, consumer behavior, political deliberations, social interactions, interpersonal relationships, and many other social phenomena."
Text mining: A guidebook for the social sciences (2017)  Gabe Ignatow and Raha Micalcea

There are three main reasons to embark on text mining and analysis for research:

  • systematic review of literature - automatic review of a large body of content very quickly; keep up with research in your field 
  • discovery of new insights - discovering patterns and trends can allow researchers to make connections and draw conclusions about the content of a large body of text 
  • computational linguistics research - improving the analysis, understanding and generation of human language from text

Further reading below provides examples of these three key uses of text analysis.