Annual Reports and Milestones

The Centre for Social Data Science originated in 2019 as an emergent, situated, and self-organized activity by staff from the disciplines of social statistics, computational methods and big data at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. You can see how the Centre's work how has progressed since its inception through the annual reports below.
Annual Reports

2022 saw us experiment with method-oriented support tailored for research proposals, proceeding from a conviction that any truly advanced methods of data-intensive scholarship must be planned well from the research-proposal stage onward. We conducted our first call for trainees, offering positions for our own students and faculty’s collaborators and external stakeholders to support our projects via hands-on experience and help students advance toward a well-completed thesis and timely graduation. Additionally, Kone Foundation sponsored a project on Twitter lobbying with communications scholar Dr Juho Vesa, which we are contributing methodological know-how and analysis.

In 2021, we established a new leadership model for CSDS, where the director and vice director positions are both held on a rotating basis by the faculty of the CSDS. The rotating model is blind to traditional academic hierarchies and all teaching faculty of the CSDS can expect and look forward to holding the leadership positions. We continued to participate in infrastructure development on a national level in FIN-CLARIAH and locally in HSSH and acquired research funding from the Strategic Research Council. Additionally, the first cohort of Social Data Science study track Master level students was recruited in 2021 to the COS (Contemporary Societies) Master’s Programme, and CSDS Senior University Lecturer Kimmo Vehkalahti became the director of the entire COS program. 

During 2020, we were challenged by the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden move to online teaching. We met these challenges by becoming early adopters of new technology and good practices for Zoom meetings as well as opening faculty-level discussion among methodology teachers on emerging practices in digital teaching. We grew in numbers of staff, of PhD students, and in new courses for in Contemporary Societies (COS) Master’s Programme. We also began having cross-faculty collaboration with HELDIG & Digital Humanities, participated in infrastructure development on a national level with CLARIAH, and were involved in the development of the new HSSH.