Analysing Refugees' Secondary Mobility Using Mobile Phone Call Data Records

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In this chapter we provide insights into the process of human mobility analysis using call detail records (CDRs). It is written from the perspective of migration and mobility researchers with a more qualitative research background, and the data science part should be quite accessible. We therefore believe that the chapter can be particularly helpful for those who come from a similar background, which is the case for many migration researchers. In this introduction we start with a brief background of CDR analysis for mobility and migration research, then give some information on the context of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and provide an overview of data and research ethics, as we believe this is important in this case. Readers familiar with Luca et al. (Chapter 4 in this volume) can skip the first part of this section. In the main part we juxtapose our steps in data analysis with ethical considerations that we have incorporated during the process: we give a short ‘portrait’ of the data and its preparation, and show how we derived general, spatial, and temporal information from the CDR data. We finally reflect on the ethical aspects of voluntariness and informed consent, do no harm, and bias and representation. Code (in R) and simulated data can be retrieved from the book’s accompanying web page.

Cite as

@incollection{SterlyWirkus, author = "Harald Sterly and Lars Wirkus", title = "Analysing Refugees' Secondary Mobility Using Mobile Phone Call Data Records", latexTitle = "Analysing Refugees' Secondary Mobility Using Mobile Phone Call Data Records", publisher = "Oxford University Press", booktitle = "Data Science for Migration and Mobility", institution = "Oxford University Press", type = "Book chapter", pages = "94-114", year = "2022", isbn = "978-0-19-726710-3", address = "London", }


Book chapter




Oxford University Press





Is part of / In:

Data Science for Migration and Mobility


Syria , Turkey