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Innovative Software for Researching Individual Media Use


At the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen, scientific software will be further developed over the next three years together with partners. It is intended to provide new insights into the individual use of various media and into the resulting digital traces. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) is supporting the research and development project with more than 720,000 euros.

The project with the exact title “The sustainable provision of software for cross-media practices and digital traces research” is headed by Professor Andreas Hepp.

Determining the Reality of Life with Media

Whether digital or analog, media offerings are an integral part of everyday life. People communicate, inform themselves, and chat through a growing number of media. Use is becoming more mobile, more global, and more casual. Methodical instruments and supporting software technology are needed to help communication scientists to adequately understand these usage habits. The aim of the research is to determine a differentiated and revealing picture of how people shape their reality with media.

Diary and Sorting Software

Starting in 2012, ZeMKI has already developed prototypes for this within the framework of a research project. With the MeTag software (media diary), testers can record their media usage in detail on different end devices. Using MeSort, a sorting software, preferences in media usage can be displayed in a structured way. ZeMKI, for example, investigated the media behavior of users of different age groups.

National and International Partners

The basic objective of the new DFG-funded research and development project is now to further improve the two software prototypes already developed in cooperation with national and international scientific partners. The Institute for Information Management Bremen GmbH (ifib) and the Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research at the University of Hamburg were there from the very beginning. Universities in Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have also since become involved.

App User Requirements

“With MeTag and MeSort, we have developed two powerful tools that we would now like to further develop into a model of good practice for the provision of research software in the field of media and communication in close cooperation with other science locations,” says project manager Professor Andreas Hepp. Interested scientists are invited to participate in the development process by submitting their requirements and wishes for the apps. Numerous joint development workshops and transparent documentation of progress are planned to promote this process and establish a broad network of researchers.

Developing a Secure Infrastructure

Data security is ensured. In addition, a secure infrastructure is being developed for the analysis and storage of data on servers of the University of Bremen.

Additional Information:


Florian Hohmann
Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI)
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49-421 218-67654

Karla Götz | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:

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