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Digital Traces in Context


Hepp, Andreas; Breiter, Andreas; Friemel, Thomas N (2018). Digital Traces in Context. International Journal of Communication, 12:439-449.

Abstract

A consequence of living in a media-saturated world is that we inevitably leave behind digital traces of our media use. In this introduction to the International Journal of Communication’s thematic section, we argue for a need to put those digital traces in context. As a starting point, we outline our basic understanding of digital traces, generally defining them as numerically produced correlations of disparate kinds of data that are generated by our practices in a media environment characterized by digitalization. On this basis, we distinguish three contextual facets that are of relevance when considering digital traces: first, the context of the scientific discourse in which research on digital traces is positioned; second, the context of the methods being applied to researching them; and third, the aforementioned context of the empirical field. With reference to the articles in this thematic section, this introduction argues that, in a single study, all three contextual facets interact as the scientific discourse relates to the methods being used, which in turn relates to the entire field of research.

Abstract

A consequence of living in a media-saturated world is that we inevitably leave behind digital traces of our media use. In this introduction to the International Journal of Communication’s thematic section, we argue for a need to put those digital traces in context. As a starting point, we outline our basic understanding of digital traces, generally defining them as numerically produced correlations of disparate kinds of data that are generated by our practices in a media environment characterized by digitalization. On this basis, we distinguish three contextual facets that are of relevance when considering digital traces: first, the context of the scientific discourse in which research on digital traces is positioned; second, the context of the methods being applied to researching them; and third, the aforementioned context of the empirical field. With reference to the articles in this thematic section, this introduction argues that, in a single study, all three contextual facets interact as the scientific discourse relates to the methods being used, which in turn relates to the entire field of research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:digital traces, contextualization, big data, digital methods, datafication
Language:English
Date:January 2018
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 09:04
Last Modified:03 Jun 2018 05:39
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/8650/2247

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