SCIDIS METHODOLOGY

In our research we carry out both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Our text-based analyses are undertaken on self-compiled corpora. For our previous project we compiled the EUROPRO Digital Corpus. The corpus we are currently working with, the SciDis Digital Corpus, is now under construction.
We make use of corpus concordance programs such as Worsdmith Tools, MonoConc, #LancsBox and AntConc. We also rely on the software NVivo for qualitative and quantitative studies. In order to gather data from the project participants, we make use of ethnomethodological tools such as questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

SciDis Digital Database

This database is a living organism that we constantly feed with new digital practices for scientific dissemination and new textual sources of information. Our objects of study at the moment comprise:

Web-hosted practices

  • Feature articles
  • Research digests
  • Ask an Expert sites
  • Lay summaries
  • Explainers
  • Knowledge-dissemination platforms (e.g., TheConversation)
  • Scientific texts for adolescents

Social media practices

  • X/Twitter posts
  • Instagram posts

 

SciDis Digital Corpus (Core)
The corpus includes 30 texts per each of the digital practices included in the SciDis Database. Several criteria have been agreed in its compilation. Drawing on the pertinence of the Sustainable Development Goals, we have delineated a thematic criterion by which we focus on three subject areas of societal relevance: Health, Economy and Natural Sciences. The core corpus, then, systematically includes two sites (that is, two different sources of information) associated with the digital practices under scrutiny, and 10 texts per discipline (that is, 5 texts from each of the sources selected). This balance enables us to rely on a solid basis with which to compare our analyses, discuss our findings, potentially reach experts and move forward in multiple directions.

 

SciDis Digital Corpus (Peripheral)

We are undertaking analyses that depart from exploratory, preliminary and pilot studies of the core corpus and that expand the number of sources and texts of the digital practices comprised in the SciDis Database. This allows us to move in different directions and achieve a holistic picture of the current ecosystem of digital scientific dissemination in English. By focusing on specific practices at large, doing disciplinary analysis across practices and comparing web-hosted and social media practices, among other approaches, we are unveiling trends and patterns of experts' digital practices and online scientific communication.