Research Projects

Members of the Computational Communication Science Lab (CCL) are involved in a range of third-party funded research projects. On this page, we provide information on ongoing and recently concluded projects, listed in the order of their starting dates. Concluded Research Projects are listed here. Please contact the involved researchers for further information.


MEDem - Monitoring European Democracy

MEDem - Monitoring Electoral Democracy is a proposed research infrastructure of national and comparative projects, providing an integrating framework for existing and potentially new projects that until now study and monitor European Electoral Democracies in a less coordinated, comprehensive and comparative manner. To support this endeavour, MEDem seeks to submit an application to be included in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2023. The MEDem Core Team is located at Vienna University, led by Prof. Hajo Boomgaarden (PI) and Prof. Sylvia Kritzinger (PI) of the Department of Government.

Duration: 1 April 2022 - ongoing
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (PI), Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Olga Eisele, Emmanuel Meillan, Andrea Stockinger
External Website: https://www.monitoringdemocracy.eu/
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research


EMOMIS

The spreading of misinformation via social media contributes to a global threat to trust in science and democratic institutions, with consequences for public health and societal conflicts. Emotions influence how we process information, suggesting a link between certain emotional states and misinformation spreading – especially in times of high uncertainty. The project aims at understanding how emotions influence the tendency to believe and share inaccurate content, and to test intervention strategies to mitigate emotional misinformation spreading. Using digital data traces, the research team will analyze patterns of emotional misinformation spreading on social media and use experimental studies testing the potential of individual emotion regulation interventions to reduce misinformation sharing. Finally, we will integrate results from social media analysis and experimental studies in an agent-based model to identify the most promising interventions to reduce misinformation spreading in social networks, and to simulate how algorithmic filters for emotional information affect the spreading of misinformation.

Duration: 1 Dec 2021 - ongoing
Involved Researchers at CCL: Annie Waldherr (PI), Jula Lühring
External Website: Project Website
Funding: Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF)


digitze!

Digitize! is a collaboration of four Austrian universities, including the University of Vienna. Coordinated by Sylvia Kritzinger (Department of Government), the project includes social scientists, but also data scientists, legal scholars and experts in research ethics. The overall aim of Digitize! Is to establish and enhance Computational Social Sciences in Austria through cooperation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Hajo Boomgaarden is leader of work package 3 focusing on validity and measurement equivalence of social scientific techniques, analyzing various text types across different points in time. The aim is to provide a more critical and reflective approach to computational text analysis. Hajo Boomgaarden is supported by Jana Bernhard.

Duration: ongoing
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (PI), Jana Bernhard
External Website: digitize-transformation.at/en/
Funding: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (2019 Call ‘Digital and Social Transformation in University Education’)


OPTED

The EU-funded H2020 project OPTED - 'Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies: A European research infrastructure', is a design study with 17 involved research institutions. The design study lays the foundation for an infrastructure that will serve a major hub for political text analysis in Europe. Among the objectives of the infrastructure are scientific community building, the extension of text analysis tools, and learning materials for social scientists, the broader public and journalists. The Project is coordinated by Hajo Boomgaarden and carried out with 17 academic partner institutions. Hajo Boomgaarden, Annie Waldherr, supported by Fabienne Lind and Paul Balluff, lead the work package 'Journalistic political texts', which will provide an extensive overview about main sources, publicly available data collections,and methods specifically designed to obtain and work with journalistic, mass mediated political texts.

Duration: 1 Oct 2020 – ongoing (3 years)
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (COO + PI), Annie Waldherr (PI), Fabienne Lind, Paul Balluff, Zita Zeberer, Marvin Stecker
External Website
: opted.eu
Funding: European Union - Horizon2020


Austrian Corona Panel Project

The Austrian Corona Panel Project investigates how information, attitudes, and behaviours are distributed across the population, and how these develop in the course of the crisis. The study is based on a panel survey with a sample of 1500 respondents, which represents the sociodemographic structure of the Austrian population. Between the end of March 2020 and the beginning of July 2020 the survey was conducted in a weekly rhythm, from then on the interval was successively increased and since August 2020 the data are collected monthly. The questionnaire contains a set of core questions that is asked in each survey wave as well as changing modules that go deeper into certain dimensions and are surveyed at larger intervals. This makes it possible to monitor important trends and to focus on key issues and aspects such as family, work, politics or media.

Duration: 27 March 2020 – ongoing
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (Co-PI), Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Noelle Lebernegg
External Website: Vienna University Project Website
Funding: Vienna Science and Technology Fund, Rectorate of the University of Vienna, Social Survey Austria, Vienna Chamber of Labour, Federation of Austrian Industries, Austrian Science Fund


ySKILLS

The project "Youth Skills" (Co-PI: Hajo Boomgaarden) is funded by the European Horizon 2020 Program for Research and Innovation. "Youth Skills" (ySkills) started in January 2020. It examines the risks and opportunities of ICT use among children and young people and their digital skills in terms of cognitive, physical, psychological and social well-being. The project, which will run for 48 months, is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Leen D'Haenens (KU Leuven) and carried out with 15 academic partner institutions. Hajo Boomgaarden and Hyunjin Song lead the central methodological work package "Explanatory and Foresight Modelling", in which advanced and innovative analysis strategies are applied to "ySkills" data and simulation studies.

Duration: 1 Jan 2020 – ongoing (4 years)
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (PI), Hyunjin Song, Petro Tolochko
External Website: https://yskills.eu
Funding: European Union - Horizon2020


Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences and Cures

"Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences, and Cures" is a multi- and interdisciplinary research programme funded by the independent Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. The main goal of this interdisciplinary program is to investigate the nature and causes of knowledge resistance. Resistance to knowledge is the failure to absorb knowledge that is generally available. A central hypothesis is that knowledge resistance is the result of a complex interaction between emotions, cognition, social interaction and information flow. This means that an appropriate investigation of the phenomenon necessarily requires an interdisciplinary approach. The program is divided into four interconnected work packages: I. Fundamental questions on the nature of knowledge resistance, II. the motivational roots of resistance to knowledge, III. possible consequences of knowledge resistance for the democratic process, and IV, the role of media, media use and media trust. Together with Jesper Strömbäck (PI), Yariv Tsfati and Rens Vliegenthart, Hajo Boomgaarden will lead the work package "The role of media, media use and media trust". The project has a duration of six years (2019-2025).

Duration: 2019 - ongoing (6 years)
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden, Noelle Lebernegg, Sebastian Galyga
External Website
: Project Website at Stockholm University (Coordinator)
Funding: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond


Translocal Networks: Public Sphere in the Social Web

The project, led by Annie Waldherr and Barbara Pfetsch (FU Berlin), investigates digital urban public spheres, focusing on the Twitterspheres of Berlin and Jerusalem. Asking how virtual urban spaces are constituted through networked communication, the team investigates communicative relations among Twitter users, their spatial locations, and the topics they talk about. The team investigates the urban public spheres forming on Twitter in the cities of Berlin and Jerusalem. To approach the project's research questions, the team collects and analyses Twitter data using network analysis, geo-coding, and automated content analysis procedures. To connect results to the societal level with subjective experiences, ego-networks and survey data will be collected for a group of particularly active users.

Duration:  1 Jan 2018 – ongoing (4 years)
Involved Researchers at CCL: Annie Waldherr (PI)
External Website: Project Website at the Collaborative Research Center 'Re-Figuration of Spaces'
Funding: German Research Foundation


­Research Training Group ‘Trust and Communication in a Digitized World’

The research training group examines how trust can be developed and maintained under the conditions of new forms of communication. Digitized means of communication change the structure and sustainability of trust because firstly, familiar face-to-face communication is replaced by digitized interactions, secondly, virtual social and office networks emerge and finally, because new forms of relationships between the public, organisations and individuals develop. The postgraduate programme analyses the consequences of these processes for the establishment of trust relationships by the example of four prototypical areas: media, economy, science and sports.

Duration: 1 Apr 2012 - ongoing
Involved Researchers at CCL: Annie Waldherr
External Website: Research Training Group Website at University of Muenster
Funding: German Research Foundation


AUTNES / ACIER

The Austrian National Election Study (AUTNES) is engaged in the comprehensive social science analysis of national elections in Austria. Since 2017, AUTNES is conducted by the Austrian Cooperative Infrastructure for Electoral research (ACIER), in a cooperation between the universities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. AUTNES is divided into three branches of research, covering voters, political parties and candidates, as well as media coverage. Hajo Boomgaarden is Principal Investigator for the media side.
AUTNES / ACIER is part of the Vienna Center for Electoral Research (VieCER).

Duration: 2009 - 2019
Involved Researchers at CCL: Hajo Boomgaarden (PI), Olga Litvyak, Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Paul Balluff, Andreas Fischeneder
Website: https://www.autnes.at/en 
Funding: Austrian Science Fund (2009-2016); from 2017 on: Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research