We are happy to announce that Ericka Menchen-Trevino’s paper “Web Historian: Enabling multi-method and independent research with real-world web browsing history data” will be presented as a poster at iConference 2016 in Philadelphia, and the associated short paper will be published in the conference proceedings. Below is the abstract, and this is a link to the paper.
Research analyzing real-world web browsing data has generally been collected from digital service providers or the online panelists of corporate research panels. These approaches limit the replicability and the kind of work that can be done. Web Historian’s first tool, a Chrome browser extension addresses this problem by enabling researchers to securely collect web browsing history data from participants with a robust informed consent process, and direct benefits to participants. Data visualizations of web browsing history inform participants of what they are submitting to the research project if they opt-in, and help them gain further knowledge of their own browsing habits. Web Historian uses data that are already on the user’s computer. Participants can submit up to 90 days of browsing history within just a few minutes. Since researchers can recruit participants themselves web browsing history data can be added to other forms of data collection, qualitative or quantitative. The visualizations can also be used for educational purposes.