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Big Data Is the Answer ... But What Is the Question?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Strasser Bruno J., Edwards Paul N.,
Project The Rise of Citizen Science: Rethinking Public Participation in Science
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal OSIRIS
Volume (Issue) 32(1)
Page(s) 328 - 345
Title of proceedings OSIRIS
DOI 10.1086/694223


Rethinking histories of data requires not only better answers to existing questions, but also better questions. We suggest eight such questions here. What counts as data? How are objects related to data? What are digital data? What makes data measurable, and what does quantification do to data? What counts as an “information age”? Why do we keep data, and how do we decide which data to lose or forget? Who owns data, and who uses them? Finally, how does “Big Data” transform the geography of science? Each question is a provocation to reconsider the meanings and uses of “data” not only in the past but in the present as well.