Research Project Assignment


Research Project Assignment

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The purpose of the research project is to give students the opportunity to address a research question that they are interested in as it relates to the course content. Please follow the instructions below.


  1. Firstassignment (DUE on October 23rd, at 8:00 pm).


I.1. Select a topic related to Data and Society; it could be a topic we discussin class or a topicthat you would like to pursue on your own.


I.2. Define an issue and formulate it as a research question, it is something about which you would like to know the answer, for example:


Example a.

Data and Privacy (topic)

How to protect one’s individual information? (research question)

How to protect one’s medical information? (research question)


Example b.

The Role of Algorithms (topic)

How to recalibrate algorithmic output? (research question)


Example c.

Digital Inequalities (topic)

How are racial/ethnic biases and other inequalities reproduced through digital technology? (research question)


These are only examples, please do NOT copy them, choose your own topics and formulate your own questions. Do NOT select the same research question as another student.


I.3. Write one-page explanation of your topic and research question. What is the topic and the research question you will discuss in your paper? Why are they important?



I.4. Select 3 research articles from the list of journals included in the Appendix at the end of this document. The articles need to be pertinent to your research question and be published in the last 10 years. On the second page of the assignment, list the references of your three articles in the same manner as they are listed on the syllabus. Copy and paste each article’s abstract.



Raetzsch, Christoph, Gabriel Pereira, Lasse S Vestergaard and Martin Brynskov. 2019.

“Weaving seams with data: Conceptualizing City APIs as elements of infrastructures.”

Big Data & Society, January–June pp. 1–14.



This article addresses the role of application programming interfaces (APIs) for integrating data sources in the context of smart cities and communities. On top of the built infrastructures in cities, application programming interfaces allow to weave new kinds of seams from static and dynamic data sources into the urban fabric. Contributing to debates about ‘‘urban informatics’’ and the governance of urban information infrastructures, this article provides a technically informed and critically grounded approach to evaluating APIs as crucial but often overlooked elements within these infrastructures. The conceptualization of what we term City APIs is informed by three perspectives: In the first part, we review established criticisms of proprietary social media APIs and their crucial function in current web architectures. In the second part, we discuss how the design process of APIs defines conventions of data exchanges that also reflect negotiations between API producers and API consumers about affordances and mental models of the underlying computer systems involved. In the third part, we present recent urban data innovation initiatives, especially CitySDK and OrganiCity, to underline the centrality of API design and governance for new kinds of civic and commercial services developed within and for cities. By bridging the fields of criticism, design, and implementation, we argue that City APIs as elements of infrastructures reveal how urban renewal processes become crucial sites of socio-political contestation between data science, technological development, urban management, and civic participation.



  1. Research Paper Draft, DUE on November 30th, 8:00 pm.


Paper Sections:

(Format: Margins 1 inch all around; Line spacing 1.5;Font Calibri, Garamond or Cambria, size 12)


II.1. Introduction (about 1 page)

What is the topic and the research question you will discuss in this paper? Why is it important? At the beginning of the page include your name and use your research question as the title of the paper.




II.2. Literature Review (3 pages)

Summarize the three articles you have selected in an analytical rather than descriptive way. Reflect on what you have learned from the articles and explain how each article relates to your research question.


II.3. Methodology (1 pages)

Describe the methodology applied in the articles, which have helped the authors arrive at their conclusions.


II.4. Data Architecture (1 page)

Critically assess the data architecture described in the articles, what kind of data the authors have used, how it was derived, from what sources it was derived, what organizations were involved in collecting and producing it.


II.5. Discussion (3 pages)

In this section, propose your own way to address your research question. What would you do if you had to collect new data? How would you go about collecting more or different data, would you like to see the research question approached differently compared to what has been already done in the three other articles? Is there a new policy or law about the digital technology involved that you would propose?



III. Research Paper Final, DUE on December 9, 2:00 pm.






Appendix: Data Science Journals



Artificial Intelligence


Data Science Journal


Big Data


Big Data Research


Foundations and Trends® in Machine Learning


International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining


International Journal of Data Science and Analytics


Journal of Big Data


Machine Learning


Big Data and Society


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