Computational Text Analysis of the C2C Digital Magazine: Using Distant Reading to Understand the Authors, Organizational Interests, and Related Professionals

Computational Text Analysis of the C2C Digital Magazine: Using Distant Reading to Understand the Authors, Organizational Interests, and Related Professionals

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7528-3.ch012

Abstract

For a non-profit professional organization, the publishing of a periodical requires a deep level of dedication in terms of volunteer staff and other inputs. Colleague 2 Colleague has been publishing an informal magazine since Fall 2012. While the publication started out as an annual publication known as Lantern, it evolved to C2C Digital Magazine and became a bi-annual publication. This chapter explores what may be learnable about the contents of this periodical over the seven years of its existence through computational text analysis (“distant reading”) in terms of the authors, the organizational interests, and the related professional community.
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Review Of The Literature

Applying computational analysis to texts is thought to enable an at-scale response to the available texts in the world, most of which is in the “great unread” (a term coined by Margaret Cohen) (Moretti, Jan. – Feb. 2000). Computational reading (“distant reading”), though, is not analogous to human “close reading,” which requires an investment of attention and skill, and basic literacy and high-level training. “Distant reading” has been referred to as non-reading because the understandings from the computational processes are not directly aligned with human approaches. Machine-based reading is algorithmic, and at its simplest levels, it involves counting, seeking-and-finding terminology, sentiment analysis, topic modeling, and other approaches to identify relevant patterns. In such analytical contexts, humans are not fully out of the loop. Present-day technologies enable initial human coding of texts and then computational means to emulate that coding “fist” to apply to other texts. In the digital humanities, though, “distant reading” has been applied to a range of historical and literary texts; in general, this approach can also be applied to contemporaneous and less formal documents.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Stopwords List: A list of words that are ignored during a computational count of terms (is often editable to enable the adding or subtraction of stopwords).

Gaps Analysis: A study of the goals/objectives of a business organization as compared to the current state of that organization (as well as steps about how to close the gap).

Computational Text Analysis: The use of software programs to extract patterns from text.

Sentiment: A positive or negative orientation toward a particular subject matter.

Distant Reading: Computational interpretation of texts.

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