Research Projects

Probing a Nation's Web Domain - the Historical Development of the Danish Web

The aim of the project is triple. First, to map the historical development of the entire Danish web, based on the available material in the national Danish web archive Netarkivet. The main research question to be answered is: What has the entire Danish web looked like in the past, and how has it developed? A fundamental element in the mapping is to investigate the methodological questions involved in making the study, as well as to establish and continuously develop the analytical design. Second, the aim is to develop the necessary research infrastructure to make such a study, that is tools and procedures to handle corpus creation, a variety of analyses, long term storage, documentation, workspace, and collaborative working tools. And, third, the aim is to establish a well-documented corpus of the Danish web from each year. The documentation of the creation of this corpus of the Danish web, year by year, is to be kept by Netarkivet, with a view to being used by other scholars in the future. Thus, the project has a research as well as a (double) research infrastructure dimension. Finally, in a longer perspective the project intends to be the corner stone in a European project aiming at mapping and comparing the different national web domains in Europe, possibly within the framework of RESAW, a Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web, which is being established as a transnational project aiming at submitting a Horizon 2020 application.


The project initiated and headed by Niels Brügger and carried out in collaboration with the State and University Library and the Danish web archive Netarkivet. It is supported by NetLab, by the research fund of the Ministry of Culture (2016-17), and by the Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation (DeIC, 2016-17).

Measuring impact across social media 

The aim of this project is to develop new software supported method to analyze impacts of cultural events across social media. The team, led by CFI member Anja Bechmann, is designing and implementing a software solution for data collection across social media platforms. The platform was tested on Northside2014 and will be evaluated in the fall of 2014 through various big data analytical approaches. The project is funded by rethinkIMPACTS 2017, a joint project between Aarhus University and Aarhus 2017, contributing with a range of research activities to Aarhus as the European Capital of Culture 2017.

Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities (BUDDAH)

The BUDDAH project (2014-15) works with the dataset derived from the UK domain web crawl from 1996 to 2013 (that is, when legal deposit legislation was extended to cover digital materials), totalling approximately 65 terabytes and constituting many billions of words. A key objective of the project will be to develop a theoretical and methodological framework within which to study this data, which will be applicable to the much larger on-going UK domain crawl, as well as in other national contexts. Researchers will work with developers at the British Library to co-produce tools which will support their requirements, testing different methods and approaches. A major study of the history of UK web space from 1996 to 2013, including language, file formats, the development of multimedia content, shifts in power and access, and so on, will be complemented by a series of sub-projects from a range of disciplines, for example contemporary history, literature, gender studies and material culture. Niels Brügger participates as an Academic Adviser. His focus is on the theoretical and methodological issues related to the scholarly use of web archives. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and participating institutions are the Institute of Historical Research, University of London (project head), the Oxford Internet Institute, the British Library, NetLab/the Centre for Internet Studies, Aarhus University.

Facebook footprints

CFI member Anja Bechmann has in collaboration with Peter Vahlstrup from Digital Footprints Research Group received funding for the project "Facebook Footprints: Researching Social Big Data Patterns" from AU Ideas. The project runs from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2015 and the aim is to analyze Facebook footprints of participants in a large Danish dataset in order to examine patterns of data sharing and data disclosure among Danes.

Digital Footprints

Anja Bechmann from CFI is heading Digital Footprints, a research group at Aarhus University interested in the data that users share, expose or trade when communicating through the internet. With the ever more ubiquitous character of the Internet (Internet of things) it is important to understand the strategies of both users and companies of making services and content interoperable. The vision of the research group is not primarily to educate users how to act but to investigate and analyze the patterns and strategies that are at stake. Digital Footprints Research Group launches first software (Digital Footprints) for researchers internationally to collect and analyze Facebook data. The development of the software has taken place since December 2011 and has been funded by Digital Humanities Lab, NetLab and AU Arts. The software, launched October 3rd 2013, is in open beta and all professors, post docs and PhD students worldwide with a university email address can use it. Several members of CFI are using or expect to use the software in coming projects.

NetLab

NetLab is a research infrastructure project for the study of internet materials within the national Danish Digital Humanities Lab (DigHumLab) and affiliated to the Centre for Internet Studies, Aarhus University.

The aim of NetLab is to initiate and conduct a number of research-driven projects to contribute to the establishment and development of a research infrastructure. The projects will be defined by relevant research questions within media studies, the humanities and the social sciences. Thus, it is also an aim to make the internet research infrastructure available to scholars from other disciplines and test its use within other disciplines to the extent possible. And, finally, the aim is to use a variety of methods. The methods employed will include - but are not limited to - software-supported methods.

Participants from CFI: associate professor Anja Bechmann, associate professor Niels Brügger, professor Niels Ole Finnemann (head of NetLab).

Digital Humanities Lab (DigHumLab)

The vision for DIGHUMLAB is to rejuvenate fields of research within the humanities and social sciences

  • through broad access to digital sources and research data
  • through development of software-supported analysis methods
  • through collaborative forms of work and new research concepts
  • through internationalisation of classic specialist research skills and emerging interdisciplinary fields of research.

DIGHUMLAB will enhance and facilitate Digital Humanities in Danish research, thereby contributing to greater interdisciplinary cooperation, widespread knowledge transfer and global orientation and increased internationalisation of both research and education.

Participants from CFI: associate professor Anja Bechmann, associate professor Niels Brügger, professor Niels Ole Finnemann, associate professor Per Jauert.

WEBDATANET

Professor Niels Ole Finnemann participates in the COST Action project WEBDATANET (COST Action IS1004). WEBDATANET is a unique multidisciplinary European network bringing together leading web-based data collection experts, (web) survey methodologists, psychologists, sociologists, linguists, economists, media researchers, Internet scientists and public opinion researchers from 22 European Member States. By addressing methodological issues of web-based data collection (surveys, experiments, tests, non-reactive data collection, and mobile Internet research) and fostering its scientific usage WEBDATANET aims to contribute to the theoretical and empirical foundations of web-based data collection, stimulate its integration into the entire research process (i-science), and enhance the integrity and legitimacy of these new forms of data collection.

Meaning across media: Cross-media communication and co-creation

Stine Lomborg and Jakob Linaa Jensen from CFI are part of the research project Meaning across media: Cross-media communication and co-creation. Today's media consumers are increasingly using a variety of media types and genres in varying combinations and to many different purposes in their everyday life. The participatory nature of the new media means that users are not just consumers of media content but also to varying degrees contribute as producers. The development and dissemination of mobile and networked media has created hopes of new democratic potentials and participatory cultures as well as concerns of the eradication of professionalism and quality and of the major media institutions’ use of social media. This project takes a position between these extremes and puts the media developments into a historical context while also focusing on the new roles of and relationships between users and producers as a result of mobile and networked media and cross-media communication. 

SME (Socio Media Education)

Socio Media Education (SME) is a research project about how upper secondary schools can improve their it-culture. It runs from 2011 to 2014 and includes Jesper Tække from CFI, Michael Paulsen from SDU and Skive Handelsgymnasium (Skive Business College). The project is funded by Region Midt (the Central Denmark Region - one of five administrative units in Denmark). The two researchers have done research within a number of upper secondary schools in Denmark and written a series of articles about how digital media and wireless networks influence social relations in class teaching. Their findings show that these media bring about many problems in relation to distraction, conflicts between pupils and teachers and a high drop-out rate. In the three-year research project an experimentation class is used in order to find new ways of teaching. As a principle, the teachers must not meet the pupils with prohibitions or indifference in relation to the use of media, and in addition, they have to use two social media in their teaching namely Twitter and a Wiki.