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The RC2S2 (Research Center for Computational Social Science) research group was established at the Institute of Empirical Studies of the Eötvös Loránd University in 2018 by the expansion of the former Methodological Research Center. The leaders of the research group are Ildikó Barna and Renáta Németh.

Our research team uses methods of data mining and text mining to analyse textual data available on the internet or digitalized offline texts. We also use network analysis and develop data visualization solutions. Our research topics are diverse, we deal with online hate speech, the online representation of corruption and we analyse online forums with the main focus on depression.

The data revolution that has taken place in recent decades and the digital data generated by our everyday activities became a socially relevant source of information. Responding to this, the methodology of quantitative social research uses by now methods of computer science and artificial intelligence research. This new research area is called computational social science in the international literature. Subfields of Computational Social Science are data science (machine learning, text analytics), network analysis and data visualization. The digital revolution not only brought new data sources, but also changed the society. As sociologists, our goal is to get to know this new type of society. We are convinced that the computational trend will be inescapable. The aim of the RC2S2 research group is to discover the social knowledge of this area and to develop and adopt new methods, and explore its epistemological consequences.

News and Results

Ildikó Barna and Árpád Knap at the 2021 ISCA conference

2020.12.30. Featured Online Antisemitism

Good news. Ildikó Barna and Árpád Knap are among the speakers of the 2021 ISCA conference organized by Indiana University. The "Antisemitism in Today's America: Manifestations, Causes, and Consequences" conference is one of the most important international forums for antisemitism researchers. Ildikó and Árpád present a comparative analysis of Hungarian [...]


2020.09.30. Featured

Three members of our research group (Renáta Németh, Eszter Rita Katona, Zoltán Kmetty) recently published an article, which aims to present the characteristics and possibilities of automated text analysis. Their goal is to inspire Hungarian social scientists by providing an insight into a less-institutionalized area, since they believe that at [...]



The work of our PhD researcher, Árpád Knap, was selected among the best of the New National Excellence Programme (ÚNKP) 2020/21 cycle at ELTE, based on his final report and presentation. In his research entitled "Analysing emotions related to twentieth-century traumas using text analytics methods" Árpád analysed newspaper articles related [...]

Sik Domonkos, Németh Renáta, Katona Eszter: Topic modelling online depression forums: beyond narratives of self-objectification and self-blaming

2021.09.29. Result Publication Discursive framing of depression in online health communities

A publication of our research group has been published by Journal of Mental Health (IF 4.3). If you don’t have access to T&F, feel free to use one of the 50 free online copies: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/AFFUU26JFMIB7BNXATAZ/full?target=10.1080/09638237.2021.1979493

Eszter Katona, Árpád Knap, Fanni Máté, Mihály Csótó – Topic modelling of the Információs Társadalom

2021.07.13. Result Publication

Three members of our research group: Eszter Katona, Árpád Knap and Fanni Máté, with the contribution of Mihály Csótó, wrote an article for the special anniversary issue of the Information Society journal. The primary aim of the study is to review the topics that the journal has included in the [...]

Németh, Sik, Katona (2021) – The asymmetries of the biopsychosocial model of depression in lay discourses – Topic modelling online depression forums

2021.04.26. Result Publication Discursive framing of depression in online health communities

New results of our project ‘NLP analysis of online depression forums’ was published in SSM Population Health (D1) written by Renáta Németh, Domonkos Sik and Eszter Katona. The asymmetries of the biopsychosocial model of depression in lay discourses - Topic modeling of online depression forums.

Our former publications in related topics

2021.04.14. Result Publication Discursive framing of depression in online health communities

Sik Domonkos: From mental disorders to social suffering: Making sense of depression for critical theories. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL THEORY (2018) Sik, Domonkos: Válaszok a szenvedésre: A hálózati szolidaritás elmélete. Budapest, Magyarország : ELTE Eötvös Kiadó (2018) , 228 p. Sik, Domonkos: A szenvedés határállapotai: Egy kritikai hálózatelmélet vázlata. Budapest, [...]

Sik, Domonkos (2020): From Lay Depression Narratives to Secular Ritual Healing: An Online Ethnography of Mental Health Forums

2020.12.29. Result Publication Discursive framing of depression in online health communities

The article aims at analysing online depression forums enabling lay reinterpretation and criticism of expert biomedical discourses. Firstly, two contrasting interpretations of depression are reconstructed: expert psy-discourses are confronted with the phenomenological descriptions of lay experiences, with a special emphasis on online forums as empirical platforms hosting such debates. After [...]

RC2S2 presentations at the conference “Sociology at the Dawn of a Successful Century”


The conference “Sociology at the Dawn of a Successful Century" will be held on October 8-9th at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The sociological applications of NLP will be presented in it’s own section, led by two co-leaders of our research group, Ildikó Barna and Renáta Németh (and Bence Ságvári, [...]

Two of our researchers won the grant of the New National Excellence Program


Both Eszter Katona and Árpád Knap won the scholarship of the New National Excellence Program (ÚNKP) for the next one-year period. The title of Eszter's research is Corruption risk and prediction - Analysis of the texts of public procurement tenders using the tools of natural language processing. Her supervisor is [...]



We are pleased to announce that our student, Bernadett Csala-Ferencz (MSc in Survey Statistics and Data Analytics), has won a scholarship from the New National Excellence Program for the new semester. The title of her research is: Exploratory clustering of online posts on depression. With the support of the program, [...]



Our research group has received an outstanding opportunity – we have been awarded the 2020 “OTKA” (Hungarian Scientific Research Fund) research grant for 2020-2023 for our project titled “The layers of the political public sphere in Hungary (2001-2020) – a sociological analysis of the official, media-based and lay online public [...]



A new paper entitled Sociologists using machine learning: Hermeneutic limitations of ‘big data’ text analytics if non-trivial concepts are taught has been published in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods (Q1, impact factor 3.6) by Renáta Németh, Domonkos Sik and Fanni Máté. We were pleased to read the reviews, e.g. [...]

Renáta Németh, Domonkos Sik, Fanni Máté. 2020. “Machine learning of concepts hard even for humans: the case of online depression forums”. International Journal of Qualitative Methods

2020.08.25. Result Publication Discursive framing of depression in online health communities

Social scientists of mixed-methods research have traditionally used human annotators to classify texts according to some predefined knowledge. The ‘big data’ revolution, the fast growth of digitized texts in recent years brings new opportunities but also new challenges. In our research project, we aim to examine the potential for natural [...]