We will help researchers interested in (social) media data by enabling their data scraping, mining, and analysis potential and by clarifying the legal and ethical boundaries for this kind of research.
We are an open project from the beginning and invite everyone interested to contribute.
The aim of this project is to establish a “(Social) Media Observatory” (SMO). It will fulfil five essential tasks within and beyond the context of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC):
the design and implementation of a technical infrastructure consisting of cloud-based virtual servers and containers for self-deployment, a comprehensive database of social actors and organisations (due to its roots in the RISC, for the beginning in a German context), as well as specially developed open source scripts and freely accessible software packages, which will be used throughout the project period for a) continuous and actor-related and b) event- and case-related systematic observation of the media-based public;
the creation and maintenance of an English-language “handbook”, which refers in the form of a wiki to existing data sets, tools, software packages or similar in the field of “(social) media observation”;
the development of a training programme with regular biannual workshops for the collection and analysis of social media data;
the establishment of a contact and advice centre which supports the consortium partners in the pre-processing, analysis and evaluation of (social) media data in relation to projects as required, for example by means of consultation hours scheduled and project-based on demand;
the cooperation with external institutional partners (GESIS, Social Science One) to ensure the FAIR, secure, reliable, and long-term archiving of the (social) media data obtained within and beyond RISC and thus to develop their potential for further use.
Thus, while covering a wide field, the project does not pursue its own content-related question, but has the task of providing data, tools, knowledge, and competences to all interested projects within and beyond RISC in order to be able to independently work on questions related to media-based publicity.