Catherine Brooks our Director invited to serve as a team member on an international project "Ways of Being in a Digital Age: A Systematic Review" led by the U.K.'s Institute of Cultural Capital.

July 18, 2016

Catherine Brooks, Director of UA's Center for Digital Society and Data Studies (CDSDS), has been invited to serve as a steering-team member on a recently-awarded grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, UK's largest organization for funding research on economic and social issues. The project "Ways of Being in a Digital Age: A Systematic Review" will be led by the U.K.'s Institute of Cultural Capital and its Director Simeon Yates who has a strong 25-year record of scholarship on the social and cultural impacts of digital age. The steering committee for this project will identify Delphi recruits for each study domain, in addition to providing initial inclusion criteria, key words and key citations for the systematic reviews of research on digital life. ​Overall, this project means to provide a more holistic view of how digital technology mediates our lives, and the way technological and social change co-evolve and impact each other. For more information about Arizona's CDSDS, check out our full website, and to see the work of peers in the CDSDS network, see:


Additional reading here drawn from Bill Dutton's blog!


The project is led by the Institute of Cultural Capital at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with 17 other partner Universities and organizations. It is a scoping review designed to inform potential future ESRC initiatives in this area.

This scoping review will focus on how digital technology mediates our lives, and of the way technological and social change co-evolve and impact on each other. The project will undertake: a Delphi review of expert opinion; a systematic literature review; and an overall synthesis to identify gaps in current research. The project will also run a program of events to build and extend networks among the academic community, other stakeholders and potential funding partners. The project pulls together an impressive interdisciplinary research team with experience in running digital projects with partners across the social sciences, arts and humanities, engineering, physical sciences and health, representing 16 universities from the UK, EU, USA and Singapore. The core team of co-investigators from eight UK universities will provide expertise across a range of social science, arts, engineering and science backgrounds. The team also includes a broader international steering group, of which I am a member.  

Its initial plans are to focus on seven domains:

  1. Citizenship and politics
  2. Communities and identities
  3. Communication and relationships
  4. Health and wellbeing
  5. Economy and sustainability
  6. Data and representation
  7. Governance and security

For each domain the project will undertake:

  • A Delphi panel review of international experts’ opinions on the state of the art in digital facing social research.
  • A ‘concept mapping’ of identified literature using digital humanities tools
  • A systematic review of a sample of the literature
  • Engagement events with non-academic stakeholders from the public and private sectors
  • An assessment of the theory and methods applied in each domain

The project will also conduct a feedback questionnaire on the findings, run workshops throughout, and hold sessions at a number of international conferences. The project will conclude with a symposium to feedback the findings and to discuss the future of digital research in the social sciences.

More details on the project are available online at:  But as time passes, just search for Ways of Being in the Digital Age, as we do.