Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Big data is not about size: when data transform scholarship

Plantin, Jean-Christophe ORCID: 0000-0001-8041-6679, Lagoze, Carl, Edwards, Paul and Sandvig, Christian (2017) Big data is not about size: when data transform scholarship. In: Mabi, C, Plantin, Jean-Christophe and Monnoyer-Smith, Laurence, (eds.) Les données à l’heure du numérique. Ouvrir, partager, expérimenter. Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris, France. ISBN 9782735123865

Full text not available from this repository.


“Big data” discussions typically focus on scale, i.e. the problems and potentials inherent in very large collections. Here, we argue that the most important consequences of “big data” for scholarship stem not from the increasing size of datasets, but instead from a loss of control over the sources of data. The breakdown of the “control zone” due to the uncertain provenance of data has implications for data integrity, and can be disruptive to scholarship in multiple ways. A retrospective look at the introduction of larger datasets in weather forecasting and epidemiology shows that more data can at times be counter-productive, or destabilize already existing methods. Based on these examples, we look at two implications of “big data” for scholarship: when the presence of large datasets transforms the traditional disciplinary structure of sciences, as well as the infrastructure for scholarly communication.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 11:01
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2021 00:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item