Researching Reddit

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Abstract

How can new scholars navigate research on digital platforms while remaining grounded in traditional disciplines? In response to this and similar questions, this article presents the disciplinary, methodological, and analytical decisions encountered in two cases on the social media platform Reddit. In detailing two cases employing Reddit for qualitative data analysis in ethnographic work and discourse analysis, this article 1) highlights the shortcomings of existing scholarship on the use of Reddit regarding both scope of and level of detail in explaining methodological and analytic rationales and procedures; and 2) proposes recommendations for how to improve transparency in methods and analyses. Additionally, this work emphasizes the anxieties that surface when tensions exist between traditional ways of knowledge production and digital scholarship, which are explored through questions about rigor in data collection and analysis.