UEL Research News

The latest research news and events from the University of East London

Twitter gives UEL special access to its data


The University of East London (UEL) is one of only six universities in the world, and the only in the UK, to be granted access by Twitter to its public and historical Twitter data.

Four researchers will investigate if there is a connection between tweets and how sports teams and players perform.

They will examine how public perception and opinions, captured by twitter quotes, can affect players’ performance, remuneration, status and club performance.

The researchers will look at players’ achievements from one game to a series of games, their probability of being picked for a match, their salary, their likelihood of being transferred over the season and teams’ performances. They also try to see how tweets can influence results in a game.

Dr Dooruj Rambaccussing UEL’s senior lecturer in financial economics, who put in the proposal, said: “What we are looking at is how Twitter popularity can change a player’s performance and salary. For example with some players there’s a lot of hype, which can boost their market value and salary.

“We are going to use Twitter’s information to forecast how people react in games to positive and negative tweets. This research can contribute to how players are valued and their status and it will help the public understand players’ future performance and remuneration.”

Twitter announced the Twitter #DataGrants pilot programme in February with the goal of giving a handful of research institutions access to its public and historical data.

Raffi Krikorian, Twitter’s vice president of platform engineering, wrote in a blog: “We are thrilled with the response from the research community — we received more than 1,300 proposals from more than 60 different countries, with more than half of the proposals coming from outside the U.S.

“After reviewing all of the proposals, we’ve selected six institutions, spanning four continents, to receive free datasets in order to move forward with their research.”

Dr Rambaccussing said: “I thought it was a good proposal but I did not realise how big the competition was.

“I was very excited when I heard the news. I am so optimistic about what we are going to do next.”

UEL, the number one post-1992 university in London for research, has a team of three members investigating this issue made up of Dr Dooruj Rambaccussing, Dr Giambattista Rossi senior lecturer in sports management, Dr Francesco Addesa visiting researcher at UEL plus Dr James Reade, lecturer in economics at the University of Reading.

Other winning university programmes include:

  • Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital: Foodborne gastrointestinal illness surveillance using Twitter data
  • NICT (Japan): Disaster Information Analysis System
  • University of Twente (Netherlands): The diffusion and effectiveness of cancer early detection campaigns on Twitter
  • University of California, San Diego: Do happy people take happy images? Measuring happiness of cities
  • University of Wollongong (Australia): Using GeoSocial Intelligence to model urban flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2014 by in Creative, Digital and IT, Sport, Health and Wellbeing.
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