Civic Consumers or Commercial Citizens?: Social Scientists Working with Google UK to Better Understand Online Search Behaviour

  • Lloyd, Ashley (Co-investigator)
  • Oates, Sarah (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


ESRC: Shaping Society
This knowledge exchange project is designed as a catalyst for synergy between the corporate and academic spheres of information technology. Through a fusion of the study of online search behaviour of consumers (Google UK) and online citizens (social scientists), it will be possible to gain a richer understanding of the nature of online behaviour. As the speed and mode of online information delivery continue to develop at astonishing rates, a clearer understanding of how to measure, analyse and comprehend online behaviour is of paramount important for corporations and governments alike.

The aims and objectives of the project are to:

•summarise and present to Google UK analysts relevant research in the social sciences on online search
•explore possibilities with Google analysts on how search information can be used by social-science researchers via Google Analytics tools
•define collaboratively key societal challenges in understanding the role of search for citizen and consumer
•identify collaboratively possible methodologies, research hypotheses and research design ideas for the challenges identified
•establish an academic network to exchange information with Google UK.

Grant amount £9,400
Effective start/end date16/05/111/10/12


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