projects & events

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:

New side project: Good deeds for good data

Gute Taten für gute Daten, which means “good deeds for good data”, is a new side project of mine that I run with a few others under the umbrella of Open Knowledge Austria.

The objective of the project is to free important datasets about the Austrian federal state that matter to the general public. We do that because progress in open government data in Austria has been slow in the past years compared to other countries. Especially ministries and other institutions of the federal state have been rather reluctant to publish their data in open, machine-readable formats. If you take a look at, the official Austrian open government data portal, you will only find a few datasets from these important institutions but many more from provinces and municipalities.


BarCamp Alpbach: We’re live

Together with Robert and a few other engaged people I organize a BarCamp at the European Forum Alpbach. It will take place on the evening of August 14 and is free and open to everyone.

I am happy that the BarCamo Alpbach website is now online and the registration is open. Jürgen is responsible for the logo and the design. If you happen to be in the area in at the time or you haven’t made any summer plans, think about spending a few days in one of the most beautiful and active villages of the Alps.

BarCamp Alpbach

A Week in Summer in the Alps: Open Data and a Barcamp at the European Forum Alpbach

Sonnenaufgang am Gratlspitz

Since 1945 every year in August, the Tyrolean mountain village Alpbach hosts the European Forum Alpbach – an interdisciplinary three-weeks congress with Austrian and international participants from all fields of society. In the last years and decades, the Forum Alpbach has attracted people like Theodor W. Adorno, Jacques Delors, Viktor Frankl, Friedrich von Hayek, Indira Gandhi or Karl Popper. Alpbach is a bit like Davos but smaller, not as elitist and with a broader focus.

The scientific centerpiece of Alpbach is the seminar week: In 16 one-week seminars, researchers and experts explain their fields of work. This week is very lively: It is the start of the forum, where also around 600 students from all over the world come together.

For this week I had proposed a seminar idea on the topic of “Open Data, Open Government, Open Society?” to the Scientific Advisory Board and I am really glad that my seminar was selected. I also had suggested two seminar chairs and now I am even happier that they agreed to teach in Alpbach for a whole week:

  • Rufus Pollock, founder and co-director of the Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Carl-Christian Buhr, civil servant in the cabinet of European Commissioner Neelie Kroes

With Pollock and Buhr, two of Europe’s most important open data advocates as join the discussion in Alpbach for a week. From the seminar description:

“An essential requirement for a modern and democratic society are institutions that act transparently and can be held accountable by the public. Governments and organiza- tions all over the world have therefore started to open up their data in recent years. These measures have not only improved transparency, they have also unfolded an enormous economic potential. This seminar deals with the topic of open (government) data and its implications: It focuses on the social and technological circumstances and gives insight into data analytics and visualization; last but not least, it also brings up questions of “data ethics”: Which rules and types of freedom does a future data-driven society need?”

It was the second time that my seminar was chosen by the Scientific Advisory Board of Forum Alpbach. Last year my proposed seminar on Social Media was held by Mercedes and Heinz with me as their assistant.

BarCamp in Alpbach

During the seminar week there is another event in which I am involved: I am one of the organizers of the first BarCamp in Alpbach. It is an offical Forum event that is free and open for everyone from outside.

Souvenirs von der re:publica, Teil 1

Sie selbst nennt sich eine „der wichtigsten Gesellschaftskonferenzen Europas”, ich habe sie den „alljährlichen Opernball der deutschsprachigen Social-Web-Szene” geheißen – irgendetwas dazwischen wird sie wohl tatsächlich sein. Die re:publica in Berlin: Über 5.000 Teilnehmende, unzählige Workshops und Diskussionen, populäre internationale Speaker und aktuelle Themen rund um Internet, Politik, Technik und Gesellschaft. Die Konferenz, die seit 2007 jährlich veranstaltet wird, richtet sich an Vertreter aus Wissenschaft und Praxis zugleich. Für mich bietet sie die einzigartige Gelegenheit, mich auf den aktuellen Stand in Bereichen zu bringen, die meine Arbeit zwar berühren, die ich aber unter dem Jahr nicht schaffe, umfassend mitzuverfolgen. Ich bin aber auch zum dritten Mal nach Berlin gekommen, um die vielen Branchenkollegen, Freunde und Bekannten wieder zu sehen.

Viel von der re:publica ist bereits online dokumentiert, in den kommenden Tagen wird sicher noch mehr folgen. (Fast) jede Session wurde aufgezeichnet und auf YouTube gestellt. Unsere ist leider (noch) nicht darunter. Hier sind die Talkaufzeichnungen sogar schon mit dem Zeitplan verlinkt. Kurze Zusammenfassungen haben auch schon meine Kollegen aus Graz, Heinz und Brigitte, geschrieben. Jakob weist auf die Selbstreferenzialität hin. Wessen Zusammenfassung fehlt hier noch? Gerne Hinweise dazu an mich oder in die Kommentare.

Ich habe versucht, auf der Konferenz live mitzubloggen, musste mir aber eingestehen, dass das kaum möglich ist, will man keine Einheit verpassen. Deshalb reiche ich im folgenden die Zusammenfassungen von einigen Sessions nach, in denen ich gesessen bin. Vor allem bei einigen der Panels lohnt sich aber der Blick in die Videoaufzeichnung.

Hier kommt ihr zu den einzelnen Themen im Text:


Armut bekämpfen mit Open Data [Update]

Über 100 Hackathons – von Norwegen bis Uganda – gingen dieses Wochenende anlässlich des International Open Data Day über die Bühne – einer davon auch in Wien: Im Zentrum für Verwaltungsforschung beschäftigten sich Open-Data-Begeisterte mit offenen Daten, deren Aufbereitung und Nutzen. Tag eins widmete sich der Frage, wie sich Armut durch Big Data bekämpfen lässt, Tag zwei offenen Gemeindebudgets. Insgesamt kamen an den zwei Tagen rund vierzig DatenexpertInnen, EntwicklerInnen und Open Data Advocates ins KDZ. Sie waren aus Washington, Frankfurt, Bratislava aber auch aus Wien, der Steiermark und Niederösterreich angereist. Das mediale Interesse war mit einem Kamerateam der ZiB2 und JournalistInnen von Radio Ö1 und Radio Helsinki unerwartet hoch.

(c) UNDP in Europe and Central Asia