Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Internet research

January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2024
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   

Code Science Field
S210  Social sciences  Sociology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
internet research, web surveys, internet-data collection, e-social sciences, data quality, mobile research, better Internet, digital inequality and inclusion, internet services, smart technologies, ICT-based assistive technologies, e-care services, e-health services, user experience research
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 3, 2023; A3 for period 2016-2020
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  137  2,709  2,546  18.58 
Scopus  172  3,807  3,594  20.9 
Researchers (21)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  54744  Jošt Bartol  Sociology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  25 
2.  30704  PhD Jernej Berzelak  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2019 - 2021  112 
3.  23497  PhD Barbara Brečko  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  97 
4.  34789  PhD Gregor Čehovin  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  47 
5.  31339  Tina Dolenc  Sociology  Technician  2019 - 2023 
6.  23424  PhD Vesna Dolničar  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  329 
7.  38367  PhD Darja Grošelj  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  65 
8.  22639  PhD Simona Hvalič Touzery  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  480 
9.  17913  PhD Katja Lozar Manfreda  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  179 
10.  27574  PhD Andraž Petrovčič  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  264 
11.  31975  PhD Katja Prevodnik  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2020 - 2023  56 
12.  53551  Natalija Rebrica  Sociology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2023 
13.  38110  PhD Kaja Smole Orehek  Sociology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  29 
14.  26173  Maja Škafar  Mathematics  Technician  2020  36 
15.  29686  PhD Iztok Šori  Sociology  Researcher  2019  197 
16.  50996  PhD Sakari H.Matias Taipale  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  68 
17.  30919  PhD Marina Trkman  Economics  Researcher  2021 - 2023  36 
18.  52177  PhD Urška Tuškej Lovšin  Sociology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  39 
19.  54886  Urška Valentič    Technician  2020 - 2023 
20.  10155  PhD Vasja Vehovar  Sociology  Principal Researcher  2019 - 2023  815 
21.  06063  PhD Robert Vodopivec  Urbanism  Researcher  2021 - 2023  305 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  39,022 
Contemporary societies face the evolving integration of Internet technologies into all domains of everyday life. This demands innovative social science research insights into Internet-related social phenomena in terms of substantial knowledge and research methods. The proposed research programme deals with both aspects: the Internet as a research object and the Internet as a tool for social science research. THE INTERNET AS A RESEARCH OBJECT covers a broad research area in which the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is shaping human relations and societal structures across various social domains (e.g. e-health, e-government, e-care and e-learning). Such emerging phenomena at the intersection of technology and society demands an integrated socio-technical approach to anticipate and understand their impact. In this context, the programme focuses on the following topics: • Digital inequalities – with an emphasis on overcoming the digital exclusion of older adults and low-skilled ICT users; • The adoption and outcomes of advanced ICT-based assistive technologies in health and social care to improve the social inclusion and quality of life of various population groups in the ageing society; • Better Internet and theoretically-informed prevention of illegal and harmful content on the Internet; • Advances in user experience research methods for designing more accessible and user-friendly mobile and smart technologies. With respect to the INTERNET AS A RESEARCH TOOL, the programme strengthens existing and builds new knowledge on methods related to Internet-enabled data collection by: • Systematically investigating factors that contribute to data quality in web surveys; • Addressing new challenges of web survey applications, with an emphasis on online panels and surveys on mobile devices; • Integrating the use of machine learning and language technologies for questionnaire development and data collection; • Providing evidence-based research on the use of paradata (digital footprints) and sensor data generated by mobile devices for an in-depth analysis of the behavioural patterns of participants involved in Internet-mediated data collection; • Studying the Internet’s role in e-social sciences for the integration of virtual collaboration in all stages of the research process. The research activities will strengthen the well-established role of the research group in the scientific community – as shown by its scientific and socio-economic outcomes – both internationally (publications, citations, awards, editorial boards, involvement in international organisations, international projects and scientific collaboration, mentoring and teaching abroad, the WebSM website, the open source web survey tool 1KA) and nationally (Web Survey Day, Safer Internet Centre SAFE.SI and Spletno oko). This guarantees that the proposed programme will be carried out successfully, will develop global scientific excellence and will translate new basic knowledge into practice.
Significance for science
Drawing on existing theoretical foundations, this research programme includes a series of interdisciplinary research activities that address various socio-technical aspects of two central domains of Internet research: the Internet as a research object as well as a research tool. It builds on the research team’s more than 20 years of experience in studying the social implications of Internet technologies. The results of all proposed activities will advance the knowledge of the SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE INTERNET AS A RESEARCH OBJECT in the following ways: • Research on DIGITAL INCLUSION is designed to accelerate new discoveries in two related domains. 1. It will significantly impact the research fields of ICT & society, Internet studies and sociology of the Internet by advancing and integrating knowledge on uses, barriers and outcomes of Internet technologies. 2. It will address a key challenge in the field regarding methods used to both measure and assess the social implications of digital inequalities. The suggested application of a multifaceted socio-technical perspective shall result in a comprehensive model of Internet use that will enable a longitudinal perspective on the dynamics of digital inequalities and the deployment of guidelines for designing policy interventions. • By investigating ACCEPTANCE FACTORS AND OUTCOMES OF ICT-BASED ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ATs), the research activities shall advance a holistic understanding of how adoption of smart technologies for independent living at home can be leveraged long term. We will develop an innovative framework to explain interrelations between personal and structural factors and combine personal experience with technology and quality of life as well as policy frameworks and multi-level monitoring tools to foster social and economic viability of ICT-based ATs. In this context, synergetic effects with research on USER EXPERIENCE AND SOCIO-TECHNICAL DESIGN ASPECTS OF SMART TECHNOLOGIES will be pursued to enable the integration of usability techniques in a participative and iterative user-centred design for age-friendly ATs. • Existing knowledge on a BETTER INTERNET that draws on our experience from the Safe.si and Spletno oko projects will merge different perspectives, research methods and practices, which will be strengthened in two directions. 1. In collaboration with external experts, we will examine legal, pedagogical and socio-psychological antecedents and reverberations of POTENTIAL HARMFUL BEHAVIOUR AND CONTENT. The aim is to design theory-driven preventive strategies and educational programmes for groups at risk (e.g. children, minorities). 2. New techniques will be sought for proactive detection of HARMFUL ONLINE CONTENT and CONTACT AND CONDUCT RISKS to Internet users’ safety. Thus, we aim to both advance big data collection and analysis methods to enrich theoretical knowledge in the areas under study and to develop effective applied solutions. Scientific excellence in the field of SOCIAL SCIENCE METHODOLOGY, WHEN RELATED TO THE INTERNET AS A RESEARCH TOOL, will be pursued through the following research activities: • Research focusing on the EVALUATION OF DATA QUALITY IN WEB SURVEYS will outline a conceptual basis for improving response rates and reducing non-response errors in web surveys. Relatedly, new analytical techniques will be conceived and empirically tested to address mode effects in mixed-mode surveys and to identify respondent behaviours that may negatively affect survey data quality. The research team will build on both the original experimental and observational data and on a series of meta-analytical methods to expand on prior literature. Such a systematic approach will also help detect gaps in knowledge from a cross-cultural perspective and build a stronger connection between theoretical and empirical evidence in survey data quality. • Investigation of NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN SURVEY RESEARCH will address key trending issues in
Significance for the country
THE INTERNET AS A RESEARCH OBJECT The first stream of research will contribute to Slovenia’s socio-economic development particularly by investigating and proposing new approaches to address Internet-related issues that expose vulnerable social groups to digital inequalities, digital exclusion or harmful online content. The main direct beneficiaries of the outcomes will be policymakers at different levels as well as commercial and non-commercial organisations that develop and provide Internet-related services. The formulation of indicators to measure NEW FORMS OF DIGITAL INEQUALITIES will improve the understanding of the contextual factors affecting various forms of Internet (non-)use in society and enable the establishment of guidelines for policy interventions. The guidelines will help funding agencies and policymakers at different levels implement measures for improved digital competence and empowered Internet use among disadvantaged groups. This will be additionally supported by research on the MEASUREMENT OF DIGITAL INEQUALITIES COMBINING CROSS-SECTIONAL AND LONGITUDINAL INDICATORS. The newly developed indicators and analytical approaches will thoroughly elucidate digital inequalities that are currently inadequately addressed. In cooperation with official statistics, this will establish tools for improved decision-making at all stages of policy planning and implementation. Studying the FACTORS INFLUENCING THE UPTAKE AND IMPACT OF ICT–BASED ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ATs) is expected to significantly contribute to the wider adoption of related services, particularly in the context of health and social care. An understanding of the relevant personal and social factors will help ensure policies for integrated care services consider the specific needs of older adults and other users of ATs. The socio-economic relevance will be further strengthened by studying USER EXPERIENCE METHODS focused on ambient assisted living services among older adults and users with low ICT skills. The substantive findings will help commercial and state-funded providers of ATs better tailor their products to the needs of users and practitioners. Furthermore, enterprises in the field of user experience design will be able to introduce new usability testing techniques aimed at specific user groups. Activities related to PREVENTING THE UPLOAD OF ILLEGAL AND HARMFUL CONTENT ON THE INTERNET will present a further step towards a better Internet for all citizens. However, specific attention will be devoted to preying on schoolchildren and violence against women. The research will directly contribute to the efforts performed by the government, non-governmental organisations and online service providers. A particularly high added value for these stakeholders is expected from the applied research on ensuring illegal and harmful content is not present on user-generated domains and social network sites, where doing so is especially challenging. THE INTERNET AS A RESEARCH TOOL The socio-economic relevance of the second stream of research will stem from the development of new data collection methods, solutions for survey data quality improvement and principles of online integration of research processes. These outcomes will be relevant for all stakeholders performing survey data collection activities in various research sectors. The impact of the research will be strengthened by the open availability of the technical solutions thus established, which will be integrated into the web survey tool 1KA and other applications developed by the research team. 1KA is already used by over 44,000 individuals and users from academic, business, governmental and other organisations. The EVALUATION OF THE DATA QUALITY IN WEB SURVEYS will contribute findings for stimulating survey participation to reduce non-response errors, one of the key challenges encountered in commercial and non-commercial survey research. Survey users will further benefit from an improved underst
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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