Publication: Big Data and Digital Aesthetic, Arts, and Cultural Education: Hot Spots of Current Quantitative Research

Alexander Christ, Marcus Penthin and Stephan Kröner published an article on “Big Data and Digital Aesthetic, Arts, and Cultural Education: Hot Spots of Current Quantitative Research”  in Social Science Computer Review’s (Impact Factor: 2.922) Special Issue: Big Data in the Behavioral Sciences (Vol. 39).



Systematic reviews are the method of choice to synthesize research evidence. To identify main topics (so-called hot spots) relevant to large corpora of original publications in need of a synthesis, one must address the “three Vs” of big data (volume, velocity, and variety), especially in loosely defined or fragmented disciplines. For this purpose, text mining and predictive modeling are very helpful. Thus, we applied these methods to a compilation of documents related to digitalization in aesthetic, arts, and cultural education, as a prototypical, loosely defined, fragmented discipline, and particularly to quantitative research within it (QRD-ACE). By broadly querying the abstract and citation database Scopus with terms indicative of QRD-ACE, we identified a corpus of N = 55,553 publications for the years 2013–2017. As the result of an iterative approach of text mining, priority screening, and predictive modeling, we identified n = 8,304 potentially relevant publications of which n = 1,666 were included after priority screening. Analysis of the subject distribution of the included publications revealed video games as a first hot spot of QRD-ACE. Topic modeling resulted in aesthetics and cultural activities on social media as a second hot spot, related to 4 of k = 8 identified topics. This way, we were able to identify current hot spots of QRD-ACE by screening less than 15% of the corpus. We discuss implications for harnessing text mining, predictive modeling, and priority screening in future research syntheses and avenues for future original research on QRD-ACE.