111 votesacknowledged · 12 comments · Twitter for Academic Research » APIs & Tools · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
An error occurred while saving the commentNandan Rao commented
Agreed. Currently, if I have the foresight, I can set up a machine to stream live tweets, on the free tier, about the topic of interest and then do the research after I've gathered all the data. Unfortunately, often the best ideas involve past data. It's very frustrating that if I had had the foresight, I could have the data for free, but if I think about it after-the-fact, the costs to obtain historical data for long periods (more than a month) are often prohibitive.
This creates an incentive for organizations to gather streaming data "just in case" and then use that data to collaborate with other researchers. Several projects I know of use this approach because it is too pricey to gather historical data directly from Twitter, and if someone has happened to gather it live, even if it isn't perfect, it will be a more realistic option for research data.
Similarly, it would be great if there were a way to work with the data first and pay for it later. If I can do some initial analysis on the data and things look promising, I can raise money via grants and am happy for that money to support the system that gathered the data (Twitter). Or even better, it would be great if Twitter could arrange directly from large academic funding organizations that if useful research is created with Twitter data, they get support, provided Twitter provides easy and free access to the data for researchers. Thus, academics get free and unfettered access to data, Twitter gets compensated as long as its data is insightful and useful, and the funding organizations are paying for results.