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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 15 - 2008, No. 2

Internet-based political communication research: Illustrations, challenges & innovations

, , pages: 5 - 16

Political communication research is increasingly concerned with the study of political life in online environments. Some recent investigations make use of Internet-based tools for the research process: for project management, for data collection and analysis, and for the preparation and publication of findings. In these respects, political communication research reflects methodological transformations underway across the social sciences, often known as e-Science and e-Research. This article explores aspects of that transformation through examination of a range of studies concerned with political discourse, political participation, and election campaigns in which the online environment is accentuated. We reflect on four study features: project management, research designs, sampling, and data visualisation. In a series of illustrative studies, we consider challenges in undertaking political communication research in network environments utilising Internetbased tools. Finally, we introduce the contributions to this journal theme issue, placing the articles within an overall framework of concern regarding Internet-based political communication research.

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