Research Data Things 19/23 - Exploring APIs and Apps

I viewed the list of apps for gathering research data suggested in thing 19.

It struck me that mostly these are just online forms which have been around for years, often marketed for integration into websites for all sorts of purposes. I use wufoo as a contact form on this blog. It is another that could be used to build an online form. Google forms is another option. It really depends if the research requires something specific to choose amongst the many options.

Specifics needs for research as opposed to many general website forms might be:

  • ability to attach a file to the form data eg. photo, or audio recording
  • ability to complete the form multiple times while offline and then submit the data when internet/network access is available
Another valuable app for integrating web services is IFTTT. This enables users to set up a series of steps to push data, images, social media to other web services. This is definitely worth looking at for those doing research into social media (but should also be considered for other types of research too). A 'recipe' could be created to poll Twitter and Instagram for a hashtag and then make a record in a Google spreadsheet everytime a post matches the criteria.