Critical questions for Big Data

Provocations for a cultural, technological and scholarly phenomenon (Danah Boyd & Kate Crawford)

Peer Review


The article is an attempt to highlight some of the main provocations that might emerge for diverse categories of researchers in the case of mishandling big data sets.

There are a series of studies at the moment around the Big Data phenomenon that are meant to translate the questions that arose with it, providing experts, researchers and scholars with insights of handling the phenomenon. Discourses and conversations on this topic are spread with assumptions and biases across multiple

disciplines, which is why, the authors suggests new incentives and considerations when engaging with Big Data.

As a new social technical phenomenon, Big Data challenges researchers and scholars to new debates. The article provides new provocations that scholars should consider in their discussion that change how knowledge, objectivity, access, quantity and ethics are perceived.


  1. Does the structure support the argument that the authors are trying to make?

The authors are raising a number of questions about Big Data in the structure of a scientific article, and by using a particular terminology that would raise the validity of the arguments made. However, the sentences appear long and in some cases, leading to confusion.


In some paragraphs, they might consider eliminating some of the unnecessary sentences, to clean the text and to remain within context. 

  1. Is the goal/point of the paper clear?

Since the very beginning the authors introduce the context, Big Data, and some of the problems that emerged with the phenomenon. The amount of information becomes heavy to follow, due to references that need to be visited to comprehend the overall context in some cases.


 Properly introducing the context of the references and make clearer transitions to a new topic in the debate.


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