The Collaboratory supports research using social media data sources, with a focus on access and use of Twitter data. We provide consultation and instruction on a variety of tools and techniques, including the following:

  • Twitter's public API: Use the public API to quickly gather a large dataset of current or recent tweets. Open source tools are available to easily connect to the API through the command prompt, as a Python library, or an R package. We also support the use of Documenting the Now tools such as twarc.
  • Crimson Hexagon: Crimson Hexagon is a web-based library of social media posts (updated in real-time) and a social media analysis software platform. Content includes the full Twitter Firehose through a direct partnership with Twitter beginning July 2010, with some content back to July 2009. 
  • NCapture: This browser-based plug-in feeds social media content, including tweets, into NVivo for analysis. The Collaboratory's suite of software includes NVivo 11 for PC.

We are also interested in best practices for data access, use, and sharing; and we welcome hearing from users about how we can improve our support for research and teaching about social media.