Complete guide to web Scraping for academic research

Complete guide to web Scraping for academic research

web scraping for academic research

Websites have a lot of information that is not significant for the readers. Sometimes readers are looking for a piece of particular information. For which they start exploring the website. But they get whatever they are looking for after reading an extensive article. This uncertainty is the case where web scraping helps you. Web scraping is usually known as extracting essential details from a website. The crucial details are thus collected and converted in excel sheets or more straightforward forms of information. Manual means are used for the extraction of information. But in most cases, automated tools are used for this purpose, because automated tools are faster than manual means. Extracting data from a website will take a lot of hours. Probably days because information on a website is much more than you can imagine. If you start collecting data from a website through manual means (copy-paste), it will take a lot of time. So you must use automated means such as software to extract information from a website. A web scraping software will help you extract, collect, and load a lot of data from many pages. Based on your need, how much information you want to extract, the software will do it so quickly. As we know, there are many different types of sites, so there are many types of scraping. Web scraping tools not only extract the critical data from the website. But they also formulate the framework of the website from which they collect data. You need a simplified form of information in spreadsheets rather than organized data from a website. So web scraping software is a must for you.

Post Quick Links

Jump straight to the section of the post you want to read:

An Introduction to Web Scraping for Research:

Many web scrapers usually are helpful for the collection of data from major websites. Many analysts use scraping as a tool to gather important information from websites and use it for academic research. Also, they use scraping to extract large files of documents from significant websites. And for rechecking the changes that occurred in a website. If you find ways to extract, collect, or gather information from websites, you probably need web scraping software.

Web scraping is almost connected with web indexing. And web indexing works in such a way that it works like google. And indexing works more like a search engine. But web scrapers usually have more. Focus on the critical information that a person needs on the website.

Practice to extract data and restructure data is increasing day by day. A lot of content writers also use web scraping for articles collection projects. Usually, writers scrape data to publish more accurate and researched data, which is not commonly published. Such as to generate unique articles by themselves they need web scraping.

How does it work?

A website has a lot of information, but you only need some essential details. This information is structured into charts, PDFs, and databases. So what does web scraping software do? They convert these nonstructural data into more straightforward and readable forms which can be feasible for writers and analysts. They are usually structured related to HTML file tags which are then displayed through browsers. These tags are then interpreted through web scraping tools, and the tools collect the information that these tags have. In theory, web scraping seems more manageable, but you cannot do it as a beginner in actual practice. A person should know how to do coding if he wants to do web scraping. Sometimes coding is required to collect the critical data we require. so a person needs to be a master of programming for practicing web scraping or he should hire someone for data collection. However, many more straightforward web scraping tools help you with simple projects. How does a web scrape tool work? So a user needs to provide a URL to the tool. And this tool retrieves all the data of the entire website. In this way, you can extract any website by yourself easily. You don't need to learn coding to do web scraping by yourself. You need a web scraping tool to extract information from a website which helps you in your research for academic purposes. Some social media managers want to collect posts and comments from social media sites. You have to select the URL to web scraping tools. And this scraping tool selects posts and comments and extracts them. These tools save a lot of time and effort for these social media managers. Some of the information is organized in charts and different unstructured in PDFs. Many of the texts are structured according to XHTML or HTML tags which give instructions to browsers to display them. These tags are structured to make the text more readable on the website. These web scraping tools elucidate these tags and work on how to gather the information they contain. At first, we send a GET to the browser, and we will get a response in the form of website content. In the second stage, we analyze the code of the website following a tree path at last, with the help of python library to search for the analyzed tree.

The Ethics of Web Scraping

An ethical scraper is someone who follows some principles while scraping data from a website for academic research. some of these ethical rules are:

  • An ethical scraper will only save the data he needs from your web for research.
  • The scraper will request data at an accurate price. In this way, the scraper will never be encountered by any errors.
  • An ethical scraper must supply an agent string that will make scrapers' intentions clear about scraping. And thus will provide website managers a path to contact the scraper.
  • If any of the websites have an API, a public scraper will try to avoid scraping all of the data together
  • The scraper will always keep the data to himself only. He will never pass it by himself as his own.
  • He will find paths to return worthy leads to your website by mentioning your site in his article or blogs.
  • He will always respond generously and try to work with you effectively.
  • He will scrape the data to create something better and knowledgeable journal or research papers from it, not to copy it.

Also, as a website owner, there are some ethical rules which he must follow for scrapers:

  • He should make his website accessible for the scrapers as long as they don't create a mess for him.
  • He must respect user agent strings, not block scrapers, and encourage scrapers as visitors to the website.
  • The Owner should communicate with the Owner of the scraper before blocking them. But he can block them for privacy reasons for his site.
  • He should understand that scrapers are necessary for websites as they transform the information in their articles.
  • He should provide public APIs to supply data to the ethical scrapers.

What is web scraping?


Scraping is related to collecting data or information from virtual sites. Most people do it with or without the allowance of the website owner or manager. There are many different types of web scraping. There are also various intentions for scraping, but many writers and analysts do it for beneficial purposes.

Manual web scraping:


Copy-pasting is something that is done by many scrapers for the purpose of academic research. It takes a lot of time and effort for the scraper to do it. Also, this is an easy way to steal content from a website because the website can only detect scraping tools. Thus it is elementary not to get caught by website tools. However, people prefer the automated type of web scraping more because it is quicker. Most of the writers take help from this technique.

Automated web Scraping:

HTML analyzing: 

with the help of JavaScript, HTML analyzing is done. It usually collects data from linear or nested pages of HTML. This method is commonly used to extract texts, extract links and emails, scrap the screen, and resource extraction. Analysis is your opportunity to contextualize and explain the evidence for your reader.

DOM Parsing:

DOM stands for document object model. DOM reads the style of content and restructures it with XML documents. Scrapers generally use DOM when they want a detailed view of the structure of a website. It can be helpful when you are a writer and you want to get a detailed view of the website. Also, scrapers use DOM analyzers to collect the tags containing data, and then they use tools like XPath to do web scraping. Mostly like internet explorers and Firefox are used for DOM parsing.

Vertical Aggregation:

Most of these platforms are generated by brands to get enormous scale power to attack specific verticals. Some companies also use vertical aggregation to use the data in the cloud. Bots are created through these platforms. These bots are created automatically for a specific vertical. quality of data extraction is measured by how efficient they are. The more efficient these bots are the greater will be the quality of your data. Thus it will enhance the quality of your research if you are a data scientist and writer.


This type of web scraping usually works on XML documents. These XML documents are tree-like structures. XPath is used for the navigation of trees through specific tags on different places of that tree. XPath is used with DOM analyzers to collect the information of an entire web page and transfer it to another place. These XML documents are then converted to PDFS if they are needed by an academic writer.

Google Sheets: 

Google sheets are also used for web scraping. It's also trendy among writers especially. A scraper can use this function to extract data and information from websites. This technique is beneficial when a researcher wants to extract data from a website. It also helps writers to extract data from the websites. You can also use this command IMPORT XML to check your website if its scrape proof or not.

Text Pattern Matching: 

UNIX grep command is usually used with python or Perl. Also, it is used for the expression matching technique. There are different types of web scraping tools that you can find online, and writers need to know about them if they need to do web scraping at a professional level. You can find tools such as Import.io, HTTrack, Wget, Node.js, and cURL. There are also different types of automated browsers like Casper.js, slimmer.js, phantom.js for web scraping purposes.

Why is web scraping important?

These web scraping tools are equally as useful in the research realm. Specifically, they can provide valuable opportunities in the search for literature, by:

i)  Making searches of more than one web sites extra useful resource-green

ii) Significantly growing transparency in seeking activities

iii) Allowing researchers to proportion educated APIs for precise websites, in addition to growing useful resource performance.

An in addition gain of internet scraping APIs pertains to their use with conventional educational databases, which include the Web of Science. Whilst citations, together with abstracts, are without problems extractable from maximum educational databases, many databases preserve extra beneficial facts that aren't always without problems exportable, for example, corresponding writer facts. Web scraping gear may be used to extract this fact from seek outcomes, permitting researchers to collect touch lists which could show in particular beneficial in requests for extra data, requires submission of evidence, or invites to participate in surveys.

Systematic reviewers need to download masses or heaps of seeking outcomes for later screening from a set of various databases. At present, Google Scholar is the simplest cursorily searched in maximum opinions (i.e. via means of inspecting the primary 50 seek outcomes). The addition of Google Scholar as a useful resource for locating extra educational and gray literature has been validated to be beneficial for systematic opinions (Haddaway et al. in press). Automating searches and transparency documenting the outcomes might boost transparency and comprehensiveness of the opinions with a pretty useful resource-green pastime at little extra attempt for reviewers. These implications practice similarly to different conditions wherein internet-primarily based totally looking is useful however probably time-consuming.

Web scrapers are an appealing technological improvement in the subject of literature. The availability of a huge variety of unfastened and low-fee internet scraping software programs gives a possibility for sizable blessings to people with restricted resources. Future tendencies will employ the software program even easier; for example, the only click, computerized schooling furnished by Import.io (https://magic.import.io). Web scrapers can boost useful resource performance and significantly enhance transparency, and current networks can gain without problems sharable educated APIs. Furthermore, many packages may be effortlessly utilized by people with minimum or no talent or earlier information of this shape of facts technology. Researchers ought to gain drastically via means of investigating the applicability of internet scraping to their personal work.

What are web scraping applications?


  • Academic global relies upon lots of records. Academic work revolves in large part around one or the alternative sort of records.
  • Whether it’s a coaching task or a studies project, teachers should keep records after which system it so as to arrive at the essential insights.
  • Web scraping has now made it extraordinarily simpler for them to extract and system the records they need.

Data Journalism:

  • As the call indicates, it's far a sort of journalism that makes use of records to strengthen the information stories.
  • The use of infographics or graphs is a standard instance of the way records are woven into those stories.
  • The motive why records subject to them lots is due to the fact records offer credibility to the arguments and claims made in the stories.
  • It is likewise beneficial because it allows readers to apprehend complicated subjects in a visible way.
  • Web scraping is accessible right here as it makes the records to be had in the first region and allows the journalist to create the effect via the innovative use of the records.

Is web scraping legal?

It is entirely legal to do web scraping on any website, which allows you to access their information without any problem. Academic researchers do web scraping because it is the easiest way to extract and gather information without any effort. The ideology on this subject does not affect anyone. Because the federal court system has been cracking in the past 12 months, that's why if we go in the past, we see that web scraping was made legal where using bots is not suitable for everyone for web scraping. In 2000 a preliminary injunction case was filed against the bidder's edge by eBay. eBay has claimed that the use of bots against the company's permission violated trespass to chattels law. The court agreed to the injunction because users or visitors cannot violate the terms and services. However, in 2001 a competitor web scraped the prices from a travel agency website to help their opponent set their prices. The judge stated that the site's Owner did not welcome this scraping was not enough to make it "unauthentic" for the reason of hacking.

Two years later, eBay's case was automatically canceled in "Intel v. Hamidi," a case interpreting California's trespass to chattels law. In the next few years, the courts repeatedly stated "to not scrape us" in your terms and services would not be enough for an authentic agreement. A user must consent or agree to your terms and conditions. This statement ultimately allowed scrapers to continue web scraping.

After some years you see a different point of view about web scraping. In 2009, Facebook legally won the first case against a web scraper. This case allowed different lawsuits that bound any web scraping with copyright. in one of the most recent cases, AP v Meltwater court stated web scraping as fair use of internet

Previously, people could rely on fair use and use web scrapers for academic, personal, or information aggregation. The courts have determined as 4.5% of the information of a website is significant enough not to be categorized as legal use. Still, the courts do not determine the legality of web scraping until the essential data is maliciously used by competitors and stolen. It is time that websites should use anti-bots and anti-scraping tools because it is still not stated by courts.

How we learnt to stop worrying and love web scraping:

Time and efforts are significant when you are researching something. For example, you start reading a particular pdf for your information about a specific and that specific pdf is about 800 pages. But only you need to know about a specific topic in this case. You need a scraping tool that will get you only the information related to the topic you need. Data collection is something in which you find web scraping very useful.

But we should also keep in mind that not everyone intends to get helpful information. There are some people out there that provide harm to others' websites. They copy the whole website and make their website. And the practice should not be followed by scrapers because it benefits only a web scraper, not a website, and it is not an ethical procedure.

We learned to love web scraping because it's efficient and less time-consuming for us. It saves a lot of time for scrapers to read a lot of information, and also, it's cheaper, but we should always use it for a good intention and should not harm any website owner and its content.

How does scraping work?

Computer programs that extract information from websites are called web scraper tools. Usually, the data and information found on a website are encoded in HTML, which we can easily see by inspecting the element function. A web scraper tool can read, analyze and extract the information coded in this language. For example, you can easily download different files from a website or page and extract the information you need from the website by web scraping tools for academic research.

So, all you need to do is copy the information of specific URL pages of a site to a web scraping tool known as crawling. This process will extract the information you need from every page you have entered without any error in collecting data. Once the data is wholly scraped, you can analyze it by yourself for research purposes.

Ethical Web Scraping with Proxies:

We have already read about ethical scraping, and we have understood some rules regarding ethical scraper in this article. And also, we have recognized some rules for an ethical website owner. The proxy serves as a gateway between the user which can be a writer or analyst and the internet and prevents users from cyber attackers like hackers. Most website owners use proxies to maintain their security, and they also manage internet traffic. So many writers and researchers use different types of scraping tools that can get the data from a website and extract the information as an unknown person. These proxies will not catch these tools like scraping bee is a web scraping API that can scrape data from chrome without being caught by proxies maintained by websites. Proxies are essential for web scraping especially for academic research. There are some reasons why we should use a proxy for data collection purposes:

  • You can decrease the possibility of being blocked by the website and extract data easily by using proxy servers.
  • Many websites display their locations online with IP addresses. The data or information available on the website is changed depending on the device. So you can use a proxy service to detect a mobile phone from a different country. So web scraping with a proxy is also very helpful in pricings of different marketplaces.
  • You can send various requests to the website simultaneously by using different IP addresses through a proxy server. And as a result, this can decrease the risk of being blocked.
  • Some websites completely block IP addresses. Cloud service offers an IP address that was blocked before my website. You can easily ignore this with the help of proxies.



Publishing science articles online in journals is a have to for researchers or academics. In selecting the magazine of purpose, the researcher has to examine crucial statistics on the magazine's internet, along with indexing, scope, fee, area and different statistics. These statistics are usually now no longer accumulated on a single web page. However, unfold over numerous pages in an internet magazine. This may be complex while researchers need to examine statistics in numerous journals. Moreover, the statistics in those journals might also additionally extrude at any time. In this research, the internet harvesting layout is performed to retrieve statistics on internet journals. With internet harvesting, statistics unfold throughout many pages and may be accumulated into one, and researchers now no longer want to fear if the statistics have changed. Due to the fact the statistics accumulated in the final or up-to-date statistics.

The harvesting method is carried out by taking the web page URL of the web page. Beginning the supply code from in which the statistics are retrieved and stopping the supply code till the statistics stop being retrieved. The harvesting method turned into efficaciously advanced primarily based on the internet bootstrap framework. Analyzing statistics is taken from numerous clinical magazine webs. The statistics accumulated consist of name, description, accreditation, indexing, scope, e-book rate, e-book charge, template and area. Based on checks done on the usage of black container testing.

About the author


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Icon NextPrevHow to use data for better marketing decisions
NextChoosing right tools for data collectionIcon Prev

Ready to get started?