From September 27th to 29th, the 24th Conference of the Methods Section of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) was hosted by Babelsberg Film University in Potsdam. During the event, Kilian Buehling (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) conducted a three-hour workshop on Digital Trace Data.
The conference focused on the convergence of methodology and research ethics in communication and media research, emphasizing the significance of ethical considerations in the evolving landscape of research practices and technological advancements. It addressed challenges arising from digitalization, globalization, and individualization, exploring ethical dilemmas in big data studies, computer-assisted evaluations, and potential conflicts between methodological and ethical criteria in established research methods. The event aimed to provide insights into conceptual, methodological, and practical perspectives on navigating ethical considerations throughout the research process.
Kilian Buehling’s workshop introduced participants to cross-platform research designs based on Digital Trace Data, generated by the increasing transition of public and private communication to digital platforms. It highlighted the value of these digital footprints in understanding human behavior, social interactions, and communication patterns. The workshop covered building a research process connecting social science concepts with available data, discussed common approaches to data collection, and addressed pitfalls in using this data. Theoretical discussions were complemented by a practical tutorial on data collection via the Telegram API, including descriptive analysis of the collected data.
We thank the Babelsberg Film University for organizing this event and for the opportunity to participate in it!