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My PhD supervisor once told me that everyone doing newspaper analysis starts by writing code to read in files from the ‘LexisNexis’ newspaper archive. However, while I do recommend this exercise, not everyone has the time. These are the first words of the introduction to my first R package, LexisNexisTools. My PhD supervisor was also my supervisor for my master dissertation and he said these words before he gave me my very first book about R.

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A while ago I was building a database of newspaper articles retrieved from LexisNexis for a research project in which I was working as a research assistant. At some point we noticed that we seemed to have a lot of duplicates in our database. I had already removed the duplicates with R so we were really surprised that those are still in there. However, after some investigation, I found that there are indeed small differences between the articles we had identified manually as duplicates in our data.

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I have been playing with the idea of getting a personal website for a while now. The concept of personal websites seems to have lost appeal in recent years, due to the omnipresence of social media sites and universities allowing some space on their website for some key points. However, it seems that most self-respecting academics still operate personal websites. After tweaking my own profile I learned what could be one of the reasons: I tried to show it to a friend and failed miserably to find it again in the maze that is the UoG website (which is not worse than most other university’s site I’ve seen).

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