Australian National University

Robert Ackland holds a PhD in economics and is a professor in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University (ANU), specialising in social network analysis, computational social science and the social science of the Internet. Robert leads the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks (VOSON) Lab ( which was established in 2005. The VOSON Lab undertakes research, training and the development of the VOSON open source R packages for the collection and analysis of network and text data from social media and the WWW. Robert’s industry experience includes working as a researcher in the Department of Immigration in Australia (1991-93) and as a consultant economist in the Policy Research Department at the World Bank, based in Washington DC (1995-97). Robert’s current research interests include methods for studying political communication and deliberation in large-scale online networks and associated problems such as misinformation, echo chambers and polarisation. His book Web Social Science was published by Sage in 2013, and he teaches courses on online research methods and the digital economy and society.

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