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Abstract

This article presents the findings from qualitative interviews with nine Danish council reporters on how they use the Internet for research on council affairs. Through qualitative interviews, the article aims to qualify and expand findings from survey research on journalists’ use of the Internet for research and asks how much value journalists add to information found on the Internet and how important Internet research is compared to other types of research. The journalists interviewed found that the council website was useful as a provider of factual information about the council and a searchable archive of council affairs. Most importantly, the website expands the opportunities for monitoring council affairs. Journalists also found that access to Internet-based information on websites outside the council has improved the quality of their products. Generally, council reporters add context, opinions, and democratic control to information found on the Internet and do not see the Internet as a competitor for audience attention.

Abstract

One of the roles of media research is to explain social phenomena. The Internet became a place where society expresses itself and where society could be influenced or even manipulated. Therefore, online communication analysis becomes a tool that is expected to guarantee the transparency of the social communication process. Unfortunately, the size of the Internet makes analysis difficult, and traditional methods of analysing communication are not always enough or force the researcher to focus on a fragmentary data. The author asks a question which research methods are suitable for Internet research and allow to improve transparency. It focuses on the method group referred to in the article as Mass Automated Internet Analysis. In the final part, the author shows examples of several – existing or being developed – research methods and techniques (including data collection and data analysis field), what research methods can improve the quality of digital communications research.

Abstract

Purpose: Crowdfunding is a global phenomenon of rising significance and impact on different areas of business and social life, investigated across many academic disciplines. The goal of the article is to present the variety of methods applied in crowdfunding research, assess their strengths and weaknesses, offer the typology of methodological approaches, and suggest the most promising direction for further studies.

Design/methodology: The paper is based on the review of the most recent academic and industry literature on crowdfunding and own analysis of data presented by crowdfunding platforms’ operators.

Findings: The article incorporates interrelations of methods, goals of inquiries, and types of results propose a typology of methodological approaches that researchers currently apply to crowdfunding: from platform-centred to multi-sited. The authors discuss the advantages and limitations of the identified approaches with the use of multiple examples of recent and most influential studies from the field and propose the most urgent direction of future inquiries.

Research limitations/implications: The overview renders crowdfunding studies more accessible for potential newcomers to the field and strengthens transdisciplinary discussion on crowdfunding. Despite the broad variety of the analyzed articles that reflect the newest trends, the sample is not representative in the statistical meanings of the term.

Originality/value: The article offers the first review of methodologies applied in the transdisciplinary area of crowdfunding studies and connects it to broader methodological discussions about transdisciplinary research on the digital phenomena. The review strengthens the transdisciplinary dialog on crowdfunding.

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