Alex Luscombe

Alex Luscombe

PhD Candidate in Criminology

University of Toronto

About Me

Alex Luscombe is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, a Researcher at the Centre for Access to Information and Justice, and a Junior Fellow at Massey College. His research interests include policing and social control, data justice and information politics, social research methods, and computational social science. His research has been published in a number of academic journals, including Social Forces, British Journal of Criminology, Sociology, and International Political Sociology, and has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Sociological Association, and the Government of Ontario. He is the co-editor of two books, Freedom of Information and Social Science Research Design (Routledge, 2019) and Changing of the Guards: Private Influences, Privatization, and Criminal Justice in Canada (UBC Press, Forthcoming). Beyond his research, Alex is an avid rock climber, mountain biker, and cross-country skiier.

Recent Posts

RVerbalExpressions: A Helpful Tool for Learning Regex in R

In a previous post, I explained how we can use regular expressions or "regex" in R to parse our text data. Turns out there is a very useful R library for crafting regular expressions, especially in the early stages of learning the notation.


Algorithmic thinking in the public interest: navigating technical, legal, and ethical hurdles to web scraping in the social sciences

Web scraping, defined as the automated extraction of information online, is an increasingly important means of producing data in the social sciences. We contribute to emerging social science literature on computational methods by elaborating on web …

Race, Cannabis and the Canadian War on Drugs: An Examination of Cannabis Arrest Data by Race in Five Cities

The enforcement of drug laws in the United States has been heavily racialized. A substantial proportion of individuals arrested and prosecuted for drug possession in America are Black and Latino, despite similar rates of drug use across racial …

Freedom of Information Research and Cultural Studies: A Subterranean Affinity

Introducing the idea of subterranean affinity, this article explores how methodological use of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can contribute to the field of cultural studies. Contributing to literatures on transparency and secrecy, we consider …