Sociological Research in the Digital Age: Where Have We Come From; Where Are We Going?

Tim Butcher, Ned Coleman-Fountain, Rachela Colosi, Sam Hillyard, Christian Karner, James Pattison, Anna Tarrant, Laura Way

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


These are interesting times to be taking on editorship of a flagship sociological journal. Besides the everyday upheavals of post-pandemic social change that confront us all, the discipline and academia more broadly face renewed challenges and fresh opportunities. How, where and to whom we communicate and publish our research are transforming in ways that could not have been predicted when Sociological Research Online (SRO) was first published in 1996. Innovations in digital media and obligations to make publicly funded research open access have prompted a significant rethinking of academic publishing models. Meanwhile, broader innovations in content creation and community engagement are radically changing how contemporary audiences consume knowledge. Our digital devices are saturated with content seeking our attention. For any journal to reach into our digital lives and capture our imaginations it needs to be brave, learn from what others do today, and try new things; but not forget its heritage. At this particular moment in history, academic communication is becoming ever more social yet increasingly transactional, and ephemeral yet open to greater scrutiny. This gives us pause for thought as we consider what we will contribute to SRO as it reaches its 30th year in 2025.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2023

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