Special Editors: Dhavan V. Shah, Joseph N. Cappella and W. Russell Neuman
The May 2015 volume of The ANNALS, “Toward Computational Social Science: Big Data in Digital Environments,” explores new data made available by the Internet and social media and its implications for the social sciences and political research. Digital media provides vast amounts of information about online consumers, including their online behavior, interests, personal connections, and political sentiment. The volume questions the reliability of this data in representing the real world and highlights challenges to interpretation. It also demonstrates, though, how data from digital media can be valuable in social research. Articles within the volume address potential biases in big data, propose improved models for analysis, and examine online data for patterns in political expression and behavior.