Dr. Hayes explains research results to a group of students

The Public Opinion Lab is an Institute for Communication & Information Research lab in the College of Communication & Information Sciences. POL is an innovative space for gathering and exploring social media conversations, analyzing engagement, and identifying insights. With a mix of industry technology and academic tools, the POL is a space for scholars and students to do cutting-edge research in the social space.

The POL may be involved in academic research in a variety of roles including: (1) as a collaborator on grants, (2) as a data services contractor/vendor, or (3) as a data collection and analysis resource for C&IS faculty and student projects. The following sections provide information about collaborating with the lab in each capacity.

Collaborating with C&IS Faculty & Students

The POL is a resource available for C&IS faculty and graduate student research. The lab provides resources for social media data collection as well a variety of computational analysis software. Prior to admittance of the use of the POL’s software and facilities, all faculty and students must watch our Sprinklr tutorial video and attend a Public Opinion Lab training session. In order to ensure availability, all activities in the lab must be pre-scheduled. Use the options below to submit training and lab requests.

Requesters should note that, while requests for training and services will schedule as soon as possible, scheduling with be based on availability of requested services. Further, the following rules apply to the use of the POL in order to best facilitate operation:

  • Data exports will be prioritized as follows: paid collection, deadline sensitive grant/journal-based work, faculty projects, and student projects.
  • Prior to submitting a request for monitors and/or data exports, researchers should first schedule time to use the POL Explore monitor to refine research questions and data plans.
  • All published work utilizing unpaid data and services provided through the Public Opinion Lab must acknowledge the Public Opinion Lab in the Methods section of the published work.

Grant Collaboration

The Public Opinion Lab works with a variety of university partners on a wide array of grant projects that involved social media data collection, management, analysis, and/or application. Depending on the project needs and availability, lab personnel may serve any role necessary on a given project. If you are interested in discussing a potential role for the POL for an upcoming grant project, please email us at puboplab@ua.edu.

Data Services

As the Our Capabilities page indicates, the lab can perform a variety of data-related services. We can provide basic data collection services for social media platforms to which we have ready access. We can also design custom data collection and analysis solutions for specific projects. These services can simply be contracted for individual academic projects or written into grant projects. For a consultation of how we may be able to help with your data services needs, please email us at puboplab@ua.edu.