My core research seeks to understand how, and why, users engage on online social platforms. In this light, unpacking user engagement, understanding its antecedents and measuring its impacts drives my passion for data analytics research. My second major research trajectory is in the field of digital divide, inequalities, and media literacy. An extension of this work tries to employ the traditional research methods and latest analytics techniques to identify online misinformation and fake news. My third major focus has been on how small businesses employ social media and measure performance. All these research areas are interconnected through the understanding of online user participation and media effects. I have communicated my research findings in peer-reviewed journal publications, conference presentations, invited talks and lectures, and media stories in the popular press.
I have more than a decade of experience in teaching and researching media effects, digital engagement, and data analytics. My research employs quantitative, qualitative, as well as latest analytics techniques in areas as diverse as health, business, government, sports, media literacies and digital inequalities for effective data storytelling. Till now I have published about 10 peer-reviewed journal articles, three book chapters, and 25 conference presentations. I have published research in journals of international repute: Telematics and Informatics, Computers in Human Behavior, Behavior and Information Technology, Computers in Education, International Journal of Communication, Information Communication and Society, and Government Information Quarterly. I am currently authoring a book on social media analytics.
Khan’s Research Philosophy
The key goal of any research program should be furthering knowledge that is meaningful and centered on advancing human and societal well-being. Being fascinated by communication technologies due to their potential for connecting people across distances, my research is shaped by my quest for understanding how media affects its audiences. The pervasive use of social media has led to new realities and understanding them well holds great importance for me. In the age of data, understanding of emerging issues should be grounded in theoretical frameworks.
I believe that researchers should be open to diverse perspectives. This includes diversity in the research methods and theoretical constructs. My research philosophy is shaped by my inner desire to make a difference in the field of communications. I strive to research topics that are meaningful and attain great satisfaction in trying to answer questions about issues that impact us all.
My research program is based on three core tenets: (i) Engagement, (ii) Relevance, and (iii) Integrity. It is very important for research to not only be engaging and interesting for the researcher, but also conceived in a way that excites the researcher. I find research issues that bridge my academic and industry experiences as very stimulating.
In terms of relevance, research should be relevant to the needs of the times and aligned with a vision for the future. We often encounter research that may be useful for some, but not addressing the pressing needs of what matters to the wider society, industry, and practitioners. Research has to play a role in the advancement of meaningful knowledge. In this regard, I believe that media use should also be understood in a balanced way to involve attention and exposure to a full range of traditional and digital sources of information, news and entertainment.
Lastly, meaningful research must hinge on the principles of integrity in all stages of the process. I view research integrity directly translating into work that is based on highest standards of excellence. High research quality must be reflected in novel data collection procedures, superior analysis and interpretation. Moreover, a clear understanding of the research roles when collaborating on projects is of great importance. Group work can prove daunting if responsibilities are not clearly spelt out. I truly believe that effective collaboration depends on effective communication amongst members.
Social media use is already visible in a range of fields including health, government, journalism, education, business, advocacy, public relations, and risk communication. I see a common element that binds these different areas—how users engage with others. The future is exciting and is set to present a myriad of challenges and opportunities that I wholeheartedly aim to embrace.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9753-070x
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=OAHldbUAAAAJ&hl=en
Web of Science ResearcherID: N-8573-2018