Lab Platform Governance, Media and Technology (PGMT)

PGMT member’s research supported by Data Science Center Seed Grant

The Data Science Center (DSC) at the University of Bremen supports research by PGMT Lab Dr. Dennis Redeker, which is planned at the intersection of data science and methods development for social scientific survey research.

Large-scale cross-national surveys in the social sciences are normally run as face-to-face surveys which makes them extremely resource-intensive. Online surveys, on the other hand, can significantly reduce the costs. However, they are usually not representative of populations and make the targeting of possible participants more difficult. Thus, researchers have started to implement a new sampling approach which is referred to as advertisement-based survey recruitment. This new method is based on social media adverts that are displayed to users and ask them to partake in an online survey. Since the online advertising industry is highly globalised and pervasive, this approach can facilitate the creation of a relatively random quota sample and allows for easy cross-national sampling of survey participants.

The goal of this project is to advance this new survey approach by using data science methods. As part of a research collaboration between Dr. Dennis Redeker (PGMT Lab, ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research, University of Bremen) and data scientist Ingmar Sturm (University of California, Santa Barbara), two bilateral in-person workshops will be organized place at the University of Bremen. Together, the two researchers are going to further develop advertisement-based survey recruitment through automation and optimization.

The first research-based workshop aims to establish a strong conceptual framework and develop a blueprint for an R package which enables the automatization of online advertisement-based survey recruitment. The second workshop will be training-focused and is designed for PhD students from different disciplines that are based at the University of Bremen. The project will also be supported by a student research assistant. The long-term goal of the project is to use data science methods in order to significantly scale existing survey-based projects at the University of Bremen while saving a significant amount of resources.

DSC Seed Grants “initiate research projects or collaborations in the context of data science in a comparably quick and uncomplicated procedure”.