New book chapter on social data APIs

Tada! A new book chapter by Cornelius Puschmann and me is out: Social data APIs: Origin, types, issues. In the text, we discuss different aspects of APIs from the perspectives of social scientists who use APIs for data collection. We describe the origin of APIs in software development, conduct a survey of popular Web APIs by type, and discuss issues with regard to the reliability, validity and representativeness of data retrieved from APIs. We close by pointing to future developments in this area.

The chapter is available as open access – as is the whole book: “The datafied society: Studying culture through data” was edited Mirko Tobias Schäfer and Karin van Es and contains contributions from scholars, whose works I highly appreaciate. From the back cover:

The book is a collection of scholarly investigations into computer-aided methods and practices. While several contributors offer essays representing their skills, methods and exemplary research projects, others reflect on the sensibilities and competencies that scholars need to develop in order to study contemporary culture through data. Together they make a volume that will stimulate and engage humanities scholars via their perspectives on debates and reflections on the theory and practices of digital data research.

Please cite it as:

Puschmann, C., & Ausserhofer, J. (2017). Social data APIs: Origin, types, issues. In M. T. Schäfer & K. van Es (Eds.), The datafied society: Studying culture through data (pp. 147–154). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.344887

New paper: A systematic review of research on data journalism

I am very happy to announce that a new paper by me and colleagues from Graz and Vienna will be published in Journalism. We have worked on this for around one and a half years. The paper is a meta analysis of the past 20 years of academic scholarship on data journalism and related data-intensive newswork.

This is the accepted manuscript. The production of the copy-editing by SAGE starts these days. I hope that there will be a final version ready soon. The paper will be published as an open access article.

And this is what the article is about:

This paper explores the existing research literature on data journalism. Over the past years this emerging journalistic practice has attracted significant attention from researchers in different fields and produced an increasing number of publications across a variety of channels. To better understand its current state, we surveyed the published academic literature between 1996 and 2015 and selected a corpus of 40 scholarly works that studied data journalism and related practices empirically. Analyzing this corpus with both quantitative and qualitative techniques allowed us to clarify the development of the literature, influential publications, and possible gaps in the research caused by the recurring use of particular theoretical frameworks and research designs. The article closes with proposals for future research in the field of data-intensive newswork.

Dissertation stipend from Internet Foundation Austria

Good news: The Internet Foundation Austria has awarded me with a stipend for finalizing my dissertation in the upcoming months. This is really relieving because this means that for the first time I can focus on my thesis – and only on my thesis. My proposal is one of eight to receive a stipend under the netidee funding scheme. Every year, netidee grants one million euro to Internet-related projects that are innovative and and open (Here is this year’s call in English). A small part of the sum goes to Master’s and PhD theses in progress. The Internet Foundation Austria (IPA), a non-profit charity, receives its money from, the Austrian domain registration service.


Happy at the award ceremony.

A new funding scheme for Austrian Internet research: netidee SCIENCE


Vortrag: Wie Wissenschaft, Hochschul-PR und Datenjournalismus zusammenarbeiten

Kürzlich war ich nach Göttingen eingeladen, um über die Zusammenarbeit von Wissenschaft, Journalismus und Hochschul-PR zu sprechen. Ich hielt einen Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung des Bundesverbands Hochschulkommunikation, zu der alljährlich rund 400 PressesprecherInnen von deutschsprachigen Unis und Bildungsinstitutionen kommen. Im Panel „Datenjournalismus in der Hochschulkommunikation” erzählte ich zuerst vom Projekt “Networks of Outrage”, bei dem Cornelius Puschmann und ich für das Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit Markus „fin” Hametner und Noura Maan vom Standard die Onlinekommunikation von rechten Empörungsbewegungen in Europa nachzeichnen. Ausgehend von den Erfahrungen in diesem Kooperationsprojekt zwischen Datenjournalismus und Wissenschaft beschrieb ich dann auf sehr praktischer Ebene die Synergien zwischen Datenjournalismus und Wissenschaft und welche Rolle die Hochschulkommunikation darin einnehmen kann. Mein wichtigster Punkt dabei: Die Hochschulkommunikation muss zur Unterstützerin von Open Science werden.

Hier ist das Manuskript des Vortrags.

Und hier die Slides:

Abschließend sei noch ein herzlicher Dank ausgesprochen, und zwar an Klaus Rümmele vom KIT, der das Panel initiiert hatte, sowie an Sascha Venohr von ZEIT Online, der die Kooperationsbeziehung aus Sicht eines Datenjournalisten erläuterte.

Outreach in the past months

It has been rather silent on this blog for some time, but many things have happened. In the following, I summarize some of my outreach activities in the past months. I start with the public presentations and media coverage and then list the most important publications. As usual, the information and the PDFs are also available on the respective pages of this site: publications, presentations, media coverage.

In June, I gave a talk in Berlin at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften (“Long Night of the Sciences”) and presented our project Networks of Outrage to the public. There is also a video of the talk (~11 min.).

Ausserhofer, J. (2016, June). Wissenschaft und Datenjournalismus: Eine Kartographie des neuen Extremismus in Europa. Presented at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften 2016, Berlin.

I also gave a few interviews to journalists, which contributed to the following texts:

Analyzing the Research Literature on Data-driven Journalism

Last week, my colleague Robert Gutounig and I attended the Dubrovnik Media Days in Croatia to present a paper on which we have been working on in the past months together with Michael Oppermann: A structured literature review on workflows in data-driven journalism.

Download the Slides (PDF)


Neues Buch: Digitale Methoden in der Kommunikationswissenschaft

Digitale Methoden in der KommunikationswissenschaftIn den vergangen Monaten ist viel Herzblut in dieses Projekt geflossen: Das von Axel, Christina, Monika und mir herausgegebene Buch: Digitale Methoden in der Kommunikationswissenschaft.

Sämtliche Inhalte sind frei online verfügbar.

Aus der (leicht angepassten) Ankündigung:

Auf knapp 350 Seiten versammelt der Band insgesamt 14 Beiträge unter anderem zu Ethik im Umgang mit Big Data, digitalen Methoden im Datenjournalismus, zur Analyse sozialer Online-Netzwerke wie Twitter und Facebook und der Messung von Personalisierung bei Google. Alle Beiträge können auf  oder im Open-Access-Repositorium SSOAR kostenfrei heruntergeladen werden. Auch der komplette Band steht für alle diejenigen bereit, die sich das Buch gerne via Print on Demand ausdrucken möchten.


I-KNOW 2015 Best Demo Award for the Styrian Diversity Visualization Project

Update: Hooray, we won the I-KNOW 2015 best demo award for our work. Congrats to Keith Andrews and Thomas Traunmüller who were the main drivers behind that paper.

iknow2015-best-demoBack in the summer of 2013 I drafted a concept for a visualization platform that would show the diversity of the Province Styria using open census data: Similar as in many news apps, users would interactively engage with the data visualization, find out more about their socio-economic situation in comparison to others, and thereby learn about the diversity of federal state.

The idea was then further developed by my colleagues Thomas Wolkinger and Keith Andrews. After a number of concept iterations, the Integration Department of the Government of Styria asked our Institute to develop such a platform in collaboration with Graz University of Technology. Thomas Traunmüller, Eva Goldgruber and Robert Gutounig came on board. While I was on educational leave, the four continued the work. Now it is almost finished and will go public soon. The launch will be accompanied with blog posts about diversity, published on our data blog. (more…)

A new blog on journalism and PR with data

In Graz at the Institute of Journalism and Public Relations more and more of our students want to learn how to report and communicate with data. Also, we work on a few research projects that fall under this theme. Therefore my colleague Thomas and I decided to start a blog that brings the different initiatives together under one roof. Named after the pioneering online publication at the Guardian, we call it the Datablog.

FH Joanneum’s Datablog occasionally publishes text and news about data journalism and related topics such as open data or freedom of information. It also serves as a public practice site where the students will experiment with new formats and publish their findings about data journalism. The blog will be a publication channel for our classes and research projects. Most of it will be in German.

The student projects of last year’s data journalism class are already online, more content will follow in the next weeks. Check it out:


Participating in Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Programme

For years I have wanted to attend the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Programme, but I never applied for it. Either I missed the application deadline, or I had other plans for that period. However, at the beginning of this year, I managed to hand in an application and I am really excited that I have been awarded with a spot.

Together with 29 other young Internet researchers from all over the world I will be staying for two weeks in Oxford’s Hertford College in the first half of July. We will discuss our dissertation research and attend classes on Internet research theory and methodology. The tutors are drawn from the OII’s own faculty, with additional guest seminars by visiting faculty. I look forward to meeting them as well as my fellow participants. The official hashtag is #oiisdp.