James Ashford

I’m Research Associate in the UK researching Network Science and Social Computing. In my free time, I like to explore the outdoors, mountain climbing, cycling, running and attending church. I like to think of myself as an all-round nerd.

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Easily Distracted? How to Focus On Writing the PhD Thesis

Following on from my previous post about what I’ve learnt from writing up my PhD thesis, writing up a PhD thesis is no easy task and requires years of hard work. The journey of writing up the PhD is never as linear as we would like it to be and involves overcoming a number of […]

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What I’ve Learnt From Writing up My PhD Thesis

Very few people in life will find themselves in a situation where they are required to write up a rather lengthy document such as a PhD thesis. If you’re reading this post you might very well be a PhD student yourself or familiar with the process at least. Whether it’s something as simple as an […]

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Building A Social Network from Retweets in Python: A Simple Guide

Social media is incredibly useful for maintaining friendships, reaching out and interacting with others. In particular, social media platforms like Twitter allow people to share and exchange ideas freely and easily. In a previous blog post, we looked at how TWINT (a Python package which scrapes data from Twitter without using their official API) can […]

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How to Scrape a Twitter Timeline

In a separate blog post, we covered the basics for learning how to stream tweets from Twitter using Python. This is ideal if you are interested in collecting tweets in real-time as and when they are created but not ideal if you want to scrape tweets made in the past. In this post, we cover […]

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How to Stream Tweets using the Twitter API

Collecting tweets from Twitter can be done in a number of different ways. In a previous blog post, we showed how to extract social network interactions using TWINT – a Python package for scraping Twitter without actually using the API itself as no account is needed! In this blog post, we show how to stream […]

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How to Create Twitter API Keys in 2022: A Simple Guide

Many data science projects involve interacting with an API in order to scrape data which can be used for analysis. From an academic perspective, Twitter is a popular platform for understanding people’s options and sentiments about current affairs and various other topics. It’s also incredibly useful for mining data and gaining insights. All of this […]

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Best JavaScript Libraries for Interactive Data Visualisations in 2022

In a separate blog post, we talked about the need for building highly interactive data visualisations which you can show off to others. That’s great if you would prefer to create visualisations without the stress of having to write any code. That being said, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to […]

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Best Open Source Data Visualisation Platforms in 2022

Being able to visualise your data is an essential part of helping your people understand key concepts derived from your data. In a previous blog post, we covered some of the most widely used and popular Python packages for doing just this. One thing that these packages lack is the ability to produce dynamic data […]

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