Katherine Ognyanova on Life, the Universe, and Networked Media   RSS Feed


My research examines transformations of the media system, political and civic participation, and the social aspects of new communication technologies. The analytical approach I take is primarily quantitative – my work uses statistical and computational models with a particular emphasis on network science. My doctoral thesis at USC Annenberg takes a network perspective to the study of inter-media agenda setting, looking into information and influence flows across news outlets. Several other of my current and past projects are listed below.

While I use a variety of tools for data manipulation and statistical analysis, most of my work is done with R + RStudio. If you’re here looking for R tips & tutorials, check out my blog or my GitHub repos.

Other statistical software packages I use include SPSS, Stata, LISREL & PRELIS, and AMOS.
The network analysis & visualization tools I’ve worked with include iGraph, Statnet, RSiena, the PNet family, Gephi, NodeXL, Pajek, UCINET, Network Workbench, LexiURL, WordIJ, and Visone.

My recent papers and publications are available here.

Projects and Teams

Current projects
  • Evolution of the political web: A collaboration of the Lazer Lab with the Internet Archive and Matt Weber at Rutgers University. I get to play with large-scale historical web data, extract hyperlink networks, and track their dynamics over time. Our team is currently working with crawls of the government (.gov) domain, which will soon be made publicly available.
  • Multiplex networks and political outcomes: In collaboration with researchers at OSU and Cornell University, this project of the Lazer Lab examines longitudinal social networks among college students at 14 universities in the US. We are conducting a series of analyses using full-network data for six different relationships (social, academic, and political) at multiple points in time over 6 years.
  • Volunteer Science: Another initiative of the Lazer Lab, Volunteer Science is a digital platform for social science experiments. The site already provides the means for virtual replication of classic experimental designs like reaction time tests, the traveling salesperson problem, prisoner’s dilemma, the Bavelas experiments linking network structure and task performance, and others. Sign up for the platform as a researcher, or join it as a participant and volunteer your time for science.
Past projects
  • Part of the Metamorphosis group lead by Sandra Ball-Rokeach, studied the impact of new media on civic engagement and intergroup dialogue in diverse communities. As a member of the Alhambra project team, I worked on the development and maintenance of a research-driven local news website: the Alhambra Source. I was also part of the MetaConnects project aimed at translating communication research for community organizers.
  • Member of a multi-university working group collaborating with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to redefine media diversity in a digital age and explore policy implications. Lead research assistant for a study commissioned by the FCC to examine the information needs of communities and the media ecologies that serve them. Read more about the project here.