Methodology

Methodology

In our research we carry out both qualitative and quantitative analyses. For our text-based analyses we draw on the self-compiled EUROPRO digital corpus and make use of corpus concordance programs such as Worsdmith Tools, MonoConc, #LancsBox and AntConc. In order to gather data from the project participants, we make use of ethnomethodological tools such as questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

EUROPRO Digital Corpus

The EUROPRO (European Projects) digital corpus comprises two sub-corpora, targeted at the analysis of websites (called EUROPROwebs) and Twitter accounts (called EUROPROtweets), respectively.

EUROPROwebs Database – European Project Websites

This database includes 100 websites of projects funded by the Horizon H2020 European programme, one of the most relevant international research enterprises. The sampling criterion for a website project to be part of the corpus is that a Spanish University or Research Centre participates as a partner in that project. The projects are mostly interdisciplinary and generally belong to scientific-technical and biomedical areas. The database includes a well-balanced sample of projects in their first, second, third or final year. The final selection of projects and the actual compilation of the screenshots and texts are currently in preparation.

EUROPROtweets Database – European Project Twitter Accounts

This database will comprise all the social network profiles in Twitter that are linked to the research projects selected for the compilation of the 100 websites in EUROPROwebs. Analytical studies of EUROPROtweets will allow us not only to deepen into academic social media communication, but also to complement and contrast the results obtained from the studies of EUROPROwebs. The compilation and downloading of tweets and the annotation of meta-information (e.g.: hashtags, likes, retweets, links) are currently in preparation.

 

EUROPROwebs Corpus

This corpus comprises 30 websites of projects funded by the Horizon H2020 European programme. The selection criterion was to include those projects in which a researcher of the Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain) is participating. Thus, this convenience sampling eases the task of contacting those researchers to enquire about their digital practices. Both the compilation and downloading (screenshots and texts) and the codification of texts are now completed.

EUROPROtweets Corpus

This corpus contains the Twitter accounts derived from the research projects that make up EUROPROwebs pilot. Out of the 30 projects, 20 were found to maintain and employ Twitter to periodically update information about their interests and their research progress. Both the compilation of tweets and the codification of meta-information are now completed.

Ethnographically-informed perspective

Our textual and discursive analyses are further complemented with ethnographic data by carrying out semi-structured interviews with researchers participating in the H2020 projects of our EUROPRO digital corpus. Direct access to these informants is feasible, since our institution, Universidad de Zaragoza, or other institutions based in Zaragoza, are present as partners in every project of our corpus. This ethnographic, qualitative approach may provide us with necessary contextual information about the working and development of the research projects and about how their members employ the English language to promote their e-visibility and their digital collective identity.