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Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research

Social Media Data Analysis

Dates: 2 December 2016 
Duration: 1 day (9.30am — 4:30pm)
Instructor: Mike Thelwall
Level: Introductory
Fee: £195 (£140 for those from educational and charitable institutions). 
The Cathie Marsh Institute (CMIST) offers five free places to research staff and students within the Faculty of Humanities at The University of Manchester and the North West Doctoral Training Centre. 
Postgraduate students requesting a free place will be required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor.


This course describes how to use free software Mozdeh and Webometric Analyst to gather tweets and to download comments on YouTube videos. The course will also describe simple methods to gain insights into the meaning of the downloaded texts and to identify patterns within the data.


You will learn to use the free Mozdeh and Webometric Analyst software in order to:

  • Gather tweets from a specific user or matching a keyword query
  • Gather comments on one or more YouTube videos
  • Construct network diagrams from users or comments

You will also learn some basic analysis methods for the Twitter and YouTube comments gathered:

  • Simple quantitative methods, such as word frequency analysis, gender difference detection, sentiment analysis and time series graphs.
  • Content analysis to provide insights into the YouTube or Twitter topic studied


Participants should have a basic familiarity with YouTube and Twitter, and be prepared to learn to use new software. Familiarity with Microsoft Windows.

Recommended reading

Thelwall, M., Goriunova, O. Vis, F., Faulkner, S., Burns, A., Aulich, J. Mas-Bleda, A., Stuart, E. & D’Orazio, F. (in press). Chatting through pictures? A classification of images tweeted in one week in the UK and USA. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi:10.1002/asi.23620

Wilkinson, D. & Thelwall, M. (2012). Trending Twitter topics in English: An international comparison. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(8), 1631-1646.

Thelwall, M., Sud, P., & Vis, F. (2012). Commenting on YouTube videos: From Guatemalan rock to El Big Bang. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(3), 616–629.

About the instructor

Mike Thelwall is a professor of Information Science and head of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton. He researching big data, webometrics, social media metrics, and sentiment analysis; developing quantitative web methods for Twitter, social networks, YouTube, and various types of link and impact metrics; conducting impact assessments for organisations, such as the UNDP.