2 minute read

Over the past several months I’ve paused on writing about Reddit because of personal and professional reasons. This is an update on that, next steps and overall goals on my literature review, previous work and potential future work.

The personal

I thoroughly enjoyed my master’s at Birmingham and everything I learned. But in the end, I decided not to continue with a PhD due to mental health concerns. In addition my father suffered a heart attack at the start of 2020. Being near family and supporting him is more important to me.

Switching to Zotero

In the process of winding down from my postgraduate I wanted to keep my references for, well, reference and further reading. I decided to switch to Zotero from RefWorks given it was free and open source. In the transfer process a lot of my references were corrupted. Now during lockdown with a lot of time on my hands I’m slowly building my database back again and manually reviewing that the citations are correct. All 700 plus of them. Fun.

Onwards research!

In all respects I could have stopped and not bothered continuing with this research. Why didn’t I?

Firstly, and honestly, I still find Reddit and studies on or involving it fascinating. There’s such a diversity of articles and papers. Of disciplines. Approaches. Research interests and phenomena studied. There’s definitely enough to keep me interested.

Secondly, I have time on my hands during lockdown and being under-employed. There’s only so much time you can waste on your laptop. Time do something more productive. From leaning R and Python for future projects, to building this webiste, and “finishing” my Reddit search.

Lastly, to be a bit brazen, I believe it’s a good thing to give back to Social Science™. Over the months I’ve had researchers and students reach out to me. From early years researchers, tenured and professors. From undergraduate and postgraduate students. And helping someone gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Call it a bit of altruism. Or for the cyncial econonomists, a bit of self-interest for getting that feel good factor.

Next steps and goals

My next steps in vague order:

  1. Review all existing Reddit references and correct on Zotero if need be.
  2. Add new studies from April 2020 onwards.
  3. Write and publish a new blog post on the results.
  4. Continue drafting a literature review and upload to a pre-print repository like arxiv or SSRN.
  5. Update and post on /r/AcademicReddit as a form of public outreach and easy online Reddit study aggregator.
  6. Provide a bibliographic website page similar to Danah Boyd’s Bibliography of Research on Social Network Sites.
  7. Get feedback from my academic network before submitting to a journal.
  8. Publish a list of referenced works so it’s easy to browse through by any researcher not matter the skill level - either in a standalone interactive website, Google Sheets, etc.