Data, Archives and Tools: Infrastructures and Resources for Communication and Media Research

In the main forums of communication and media research, we see a lack of opportunities to exchange information about relevant research infrastructures and resources such as reusable data, archives, and research software. Information about such resources—whether created by oneself or created by others and used for one’s own research—is mostly limited to brief references in publications, lists scattered across the Internet, and informal exchange among colleagues. Journals that provide more detailed information and discussions on data sets, archives, or tools are still an exception (e.g., Computational Communication Research or Frontiers in Communication). Thus, the visibility and findability of such resources are severely limited, which not only has a negative impact on their recognition and use in the scientific community, but also obscures the enormous efforts behind them. For this reason, the work on research infrastructures and resources, ranging from repositories such as the Open Science Framework, databases and archives such as the Platform Governance Archive or the Database of Variables for Content Analysis to R packages such as quanteda, tosca, or specr, is not really appealing so far (cf. Strippel 2021).

Aiming to change this situation, several initiatives have recently emerged advocating for an openness of the discipline to open science practices such as sharing of data and research materials (cf. Dienlin et al. 2021), for a more sustainable use of research software (cf. Hepp et al. 2021), and for a stronger reflection on the implications of digital archives and resources for research practice (cf. Koenen et al. 2018). Journals are seen to play an important role in this. For example, the German Communication Association (DGPuK) calls on journals to “advocate and incentivize the publication of research data” (Peter et al. 2020, p. 614) and to create “new (digital) formats for research software publications” (Hepp et al. 2021, p. 12) such as software tutorials or reviews.

As a journal in the field of communication and media studies, Publizistik would like to respond to these calls and recommendations with a new article section. The aim of this section will be to encourage and consolidate the exchange about research infrastructures and resources within the scientific community (and beyond) through new publication formats, thereby increasing the visibility of relevant research data, archives, and tools, and thus providing (additional) incentives for the build-up, development, and use of such resources.

The special issue will serve as a kick-off for this. Since there is still a lack of best practice examples for texts on research infrastructures and resources in the discipline, we would like to provide space for innovative examples as to how this section can be used and designed in the future. The issue thus also serves to test possible (new) text formats and standards on how relevant research infrastructures and resources can be presented, documented, compiled and systematized, discussed, evaluated, and compared in the future. Specifically, the following types of submissions are solicited for this issue:

Presentation, comparison, or evaluation of studies and research series whose data have been made available for scientific re-use and are relevant to communication and media research;

Presentation, comparison, or evaluation of archives, databases, collections, etc., which compile and provide research material as well as instruments for data collection and analysis relevant to communication and media research;

Presentation, comparison, or evaluation of research software, models (e.g., classifiers), training data and dictionaries for automated methods—with consideration of the special requirements of communication and media research;

Discussions of the implications of creating and using reusable research data, archives, and tools for the discipline and research practice.

In particular, we welcome contributions on non-commercial resources following the open science principles as well as on infrastructures and resources primarily located in other disciplines, which can be made useful for communication and media research.

Submission Requirements and Schedule:

Due to the experimental and exploratory nature of the special issue, and because we seek and invite contributions that are difficult to submit to other journals in such a form, the submission process consists of two stages:

1. Colleagues who would like to contribute to this special issue are invited to first submit an abstract of the planned contribution in the range of 4000 to 6000 characters (incl. spaces and reference list) and stating the expected length of the complete manuscript (short/long format, see next point) to the guest editors by August 15, 2022.

After an internal blind peer review, authors will receive feedback on the suitability of their contribution to the special issue and, if necessary, recommendations for the second submission step by September 15, 2022.

2. By clicking "Submit" on the right-hand side by December 15, 2022, you can send the complete manuscript in original format (e.g., docx file) and as a PDF to the editorial office of Publizistik.

Submissions are possible in short format of 15,000 to 25,000 characters or in long format of 35,000 to 50,000 characters (both including spaces and reference list). The acceptance of manuscripts will be decided after a double-blind peer review, based on one external review, one review by the editors of Publizistik, and one review by the guest editors. Authors will receive feedback on the results of the review process not later than May 2023.

Contributions can be submitted in German or English. For citation style and manuscript design, please consult the submission guidelines of the journal.

The special issue is expected to be published as issue 2–3 in July 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact Christian Strippel.


  • Christian Strippel M.A.

    Research fellow at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Division Media Use Research, of the FU Berlin, Germany. Collaboration in Research Group 13 "Digital Citizenship" of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (Funding: BMBF; Head: Prof. Dr. Martin Emmer) since 2021.

  • Dr. Johannes Breuer

    Senior researcher in the team "Survey Data Augmentation" at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany since 2021. He also co-leads (together with Katrin Weller) the team "Research Data & Methods" at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum, Germany.

  • Dr. Silke Fürst

    Postdoctoral scholar at the IKMZ – Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich since 2022. Research Project: “Communication of Higher Education Institutions in Switzerland” funded by SNF.

  • Dr. Erik Koenen

    Research associate in the field of communication and media studies at the University of Bremen, Germany, since 2012. Member in ZeMKI Lab: "Communication History and Media Change".

  • Mag. Dr. Dimitri Prandner

    Postdoctoral research associate at the Institute of Sociology, Department of Empirical Social Research, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria since 2019. Currently he is the speaker for the sociological research designs and methods section of the Austrian Sociological Association (ÖGS).

  • Dr. Christian Schwarzenegger

    Senior researcher and teaching associate at the Department of Media, Knowledge and Communication, University of Augsburg, Germany since 2017. Chair of the Communication History Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) since 2020.


Articles will be displayed here once they are published.