Pennsylvania Perspectives of the 2016 Election: A Project to Collect Web and Social Media Content Around Significant Societal Events

Anthony T Pinter, Ben Goldman, Eric Novotny


During the 2016 election, Pennsylvania was viewed as a crucial state not only for the presidential race, but also for a Senate seat, seats in the House of Representatives, and for state-specific positions. In response to the attention placed on Pennsylvania during the election, Penn State University Libraries undertook a project to document the discourse that occurred online. The resulting project, “Pennsylvania Perspectives on the 2016 U.S. Election,” collected websites and Twitter data in order to document the people, voices, moments, and prominent issues in Pennsylvania. In this practice paper, we describe the project background, scope, collection methodology, lessons learned, and best practices that we discovered, in the hopes that it will inspire others to undertake similar projects to document important societal events at local, state, national, and international levels.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Anthony T Pinter, Ben Goldman, Eric Novotny

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.