Researching digital communication

In addition to its own methodological innovation, the research network “Communicative Figurations” has generally been committed to the anchoring and further development of research software in media and communication studies and to addressing the complexities of investigating digital communications. Besides participating in the development of a position paper on research software within the German Communication Association (DGPuK), this includes the publication of a special issue on research software in media and communication studies. This is particularly important for those methodological approaches that deal with digital communication.

NameApproach to digital communication
Virtual methodsAdaptation of conventional social science methods of data collection
Digital methodsnative-digital methods of data collection
Computational methodsnative-digital methods of data collection and analysis
Multi-method designs of digital communication researchMixed methods approach that combines native digital methods and conventional methods of data collection and analysis

The objective of the thematic issue is to methodologically contextualize the discussion about research software in media and communication studies. The key argument is that we are “beyond” the computational turn of media and communication research, both in terms of its subject matter (most media have become digital media) and in terms of its theories (which increasingly focus on the digital) and its methods (which are also increasingly digital and computer-based). Accordingly, one can only adequately address the challenges and opportunities of using research software if one understands its establishment as part of this general change in communication and media studies.

Publications