This course focuses on collecting data for scientific research in the Internet age. In particular, it covers three popular data collection methods: experiments, surveys, and observational data. Although these have been the most common data collection methods in the offline world, the uniqueness of this course is that it discusses them in an online context where the data and/or the collection mechanism are online. In particular, we will discuss Internet experiments, online and email surveys, and web crawling and other tools for collecting Internet data.

Emphases of the course will be on designing efficient and ethical data collection plans and executing them. We will discuss statistical, ethical, technological and practical aspects of collecting data in an online environment. We will also cover the academic approval process necessary for conducting human subjects research in the USA. 

The course is intended for any PhD student in the business school who will be performing empirical research.


This is a lecture-lab course in which topics are presented by the instructor, and students learn by hands-on homework and projects. Several readings will be assigned, and students are expected to be prepared to discuss them in class.






We will use several software programs and packages in the course:

Computer Facilities: 

The course meetings will take place in the eMarkets Research Lab (VMH3509). Students will have access to the lab and will be able to use its computers and software for working on projects and homework assignments. Alternatively, students can use their own computers and use the required software either by installing it on their computer, or by using it via the Smith Portal. 



Students are expected to attend all class meetings. A student who misses class for a good reason is responsible for delivering any homework or other deliverable on time. Attendance on the last Presentations Session is mandatory. Absence from this session will reduce your final letter grade.

Homework Assignments :

Students are expected to complete all homework assignments and to submit each homework by the delivery date. Unless specified otherwise, students should complete the homework assignments on their own, without consulting with others.

Final Project:

The final project in the course combines the various aspects taught during the class. Each student will work separately on a project, and will present it during the final Presentation Session. In addition to the presentation, students will write a professional project report, to be submitted within two days from the presentation.