We invite staff and postgraduate students from across the University to an introductory workshop on automated text analysis using software developed by BCU’s Research and Development Unit for English Studies (RDUES).
Projects in RDUES have investigated over 20 years of language change, the relationship between word meaning and usage patterns, swearing and apologising on blogs, communities and topics generating discussion in online newspaper articles, differences between professional and consumer reviews, and themes emerging from free-text survey responses.
The methods used originate from the field of Corpus Linguistics, which focuses on the semi-automated analysis of corpora (collections of texts), and can potentially be applied to many research areas, such as the social sciences and health (in both online and offline contexts) and to the study of text from patient groups or specialist communities.
This workshop will be a hands-on introduction to the tools and methods available, without any requirement for coding or statistical knowledge. Such tools include WebCorp (a web search system with advanced analysis features) and OurSurveySays (a tool for analysing free-text survey responses). Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss the types of analysis of interest and thus shape the content of future workshops (planned for March and April) in which we will invite participants to bring their own data or project ideas for discussion.
The workshop is part of a STEAM-funded project to expand staff and postgraduate student skill sets and hopefully open up new avenues of research within BCU. It is a collaboration between Robert Lawson (English), Pelham Carter (Psychology), Matt Gee (RDUES, English) and Andrew Kehoe (RDUES, English). The project is also investigating discourses of sexuality, risk and desire in online forums.
The software used in this workshop can be accessed online. Bring your own laptop along to give it a try (some laptops will be available on the day). You can find out more about RDUES and WebCorp at http://rdues.bcu.ac.uk andhttp://www.webcorp.org.uk.