Call for Chapters: Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society


Doing research is an ever-changing challenge for social scientists. This challenge is harder than ever nowadays as the current societies are changing fast and in many, and sometimes conflicting, directions. Social phenomena, personal interactions, formal and informal relationships, are becoming more and more borderless and disconnected from the anchors of the offline “reality”. These dynamics are heavily marking our time and are suggesting evolutionary challenges in the ways we know, interpret, and analyze the world. Internet and computer-mediated communication (CMC) are being incorporated into every aspect of daily life and social life has been deeply penetrated by the Internet. This is due to recent technological developments which increase the scope and range of online social spaces and the forms and time of participation such as the web 2.0 which widened the opportunities for user-generated content, the emergence of an “internet of things” and of ubiquitous mobile devices which make it possible to be always connected. This implies an adjustment to epistemological and methodological stances for doing social research and an adaption of traditional social research methods to the specificities of online interactions in the digital society in all its definitions such as "society of the digital", "digitized society", "society on the digital", and so on. There is no way to object that the traditional social research methods governing the study of rooted societies are losing ground in favor of innovative, sometimes extemporaneous, methodological proposals. On the one hand, scholars and professionals transposed the classical social research method in order to be implemented online; on the other hand, the growing pervasiveness of the digital in our lives required the development of methods more suitable to address the challenges of studying the digital society. In this latter sense, digital methods imply embracing the natural logic of online communication affordances in gathering, ordering, and analyzing data—as with tags, links, or hashtags. Methodological reflections about digital and digitized methods are impervious in our scientific community and applications to the most disparate objects are now the subject of numerous publications. We have witnessed the succession of web methods, virtual methods, digital methods, and many other definitions of what should be doing social research “with” and “on” the Web. However, there is still no agreement on a shared definition of what it means and how to implement the empirical study of the digital society; there are not paradigmatic definitions so solid as to redefine the field. This apparent methodological Babylon has found a possible solution in the application of the mixed methods approach. The hybridization of the methods ended up being reflected also in the desire to make the methods more and more disconnected from the disciplines and approaches. The search for integration, the mix that solves every cognitive and research problem, the all-embracing openness that challenges theories and broad visions within which social research fits today, are only a few of the elements that are actually pushing social research methods in unpredictable directions. But where will this ambition lead us? How much have we reflected on this fast spread? How much did we metabolize the change of a method or how only we simply idealized it in a different context? And how much all this becomes truly appropriate in the study of contemporary phenomena? These, as well as a flood of other questions, can arise if only we stop for a moment to reflect on what the social and human disciplines are called to do today.

Different perspectives will be developed in the volume: - Theoretical, epistemological, and ontological reflections about the digital research methods; - Innovative methods and tools to collect, analyze and interpret data; - Ethnography goes online: theory, methods, and research; - The rebirth of Content Analysis in the Digital Era; - The contribution of the Mixed Methods to the Online Social Research; - The new imprint of the Social Network Analysis in the Net scenario. Contributions to the theoretical discussion as well as empirical research find a place in this edited handbook as long as they keep a critical dimension as central in the discussion of perspectives, implications, opportunities, and new challenges for Social Research Methods in the Digital Society.

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before March 3, 2021, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by March 17, 2021 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines.Full chapters are expected to be submitted by July 1, 2021, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.



This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2021.


Important Dates

March 3, 2021: Proposal Submission Deadline
March 17, 2021: Notification of Acceptance
July 1, 2021: Full Chapter Submission
August 29, 2021: Review Results Returned
October 10, 2021: Final Acceptance Notification
October 24, 2021: Final Chapter Submission



Gabriella Punziano
University of Naples Federico II
gabriella.punziano [at]

Angela Delli Paoli
University of Salerno
adellipaoli [at]