DFG project "The sustainable provision of software for research on cross-media practices and digital traces".


Principle Investigators: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp (ZeMKI, Universität Bremen)

Collaborating Institutions: ZeMKI, Uni Bremen, Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg, Institut für Informationsmanagement Bremen

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Duration: August 2018 – anticipated November 2024

Project homepage: https://www.mesoftware.org

External Collaborators: Christopher Anderson (University of Leeds, UK), Göran Bolin (Södertörn University, SE), Jean Burgess (Queensland University of Technology, AU), Irene Costera Meijer (Free University of Amsterdam, NL), Kirsten Drotner (University of Southern Denmark, DK), Katharina Lobinger (University of Lugano, CH), Mirca Madianou (Goldsmiths University of London, UK), Richard Rogers (University of Amsterdam UVA, NL), Kim Christian Schrøder (University of Roskilde, DK)

The basic aim of this research project is to further develop the media diary software MeTag and the Q-Sort or free sorting software MeSort and, in doing so, to develop a model of good practice for the provision of research software in the field of media and communication. In order to do this as closely as possible to the needs of media and communication research, and also to sustainably build a community of researchers using the software, the project is based on a co-creation approach. At its core is the further development of two mobile apps and web-based applications for collecting and analyzing data on cross-media practices and their digital traces, both of which already exist as prototypes: the media diary software MeTag and the advanced sorting software MeSort. Behind this is an expected still increasing, double scientific demand: First, software is needed in the field of cross-media research that can collect data on cross-media practices. Second, software is needed that can appropriately contextualize online digital data traces. The prototypes MeTag and MeSort can already do this to some extent, but both applications need to be further developed, as does their infrastructure, in order to meet the ever-increasing challenges of cross-media media and communication research.

The results of the project should be an open-source infrastructure and model that ensure the long-term development and availability of the two research apps. It is planned to improve the security, optionality and usability as well as the accessibility of the MeTag and MeSort software. In this way, researchers in media and communication research as well as participants in research projects who do not have specialized technical knowledge should be given easy access to the software. The project's co-creation approach gives users of the research software a wide-ranging role: on the one hand, they are invited to contribute suggestions and ideas for possible uses and functionalities of the two apps, and on the other hand, to share existing experiences in using the software in a research context.

If you are interested in either of the two apps or their further development, have already gained experience with similar applications, or would like more information on the topic, please feel free to contact project collaborator Florian Hohmann. You can also find more detailed information on the project homepage (Link), follow the project on ResearchGate (Link) and subscribe to a mailing list (Link) to subscribe.


  1. Berg, M. / Düvel, C. (2012): Qualitative media diaries: An instrument for doing research from a mobile media ethnographic perspective. In: Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, 3 (1), S. 71-89.
  2. Bjur, J. / Schrøder, K. C. / Hasebrink, U. / Courtois, C. / Adoni, H. / Nossek, H. (2014): Cross-media use: Unfolding complexities in contemporary audiencehood. In: Carpentier, N. / Schrøder, K. C. / Hallet, L. (eds.): Audience transformations. Shifting audience po-sitions in late modernity. London: Routledge, S. 15-29.
  3. Breiter, A. / Hepp, A. (2017): The complexity of datafication: putting digital traces in context. In: Hepp, A. / Breiter, A. / Hasebrink, U. (eds.): Communicative figurations: Rethinking mediatized transformations. London: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 387-405.
  4. Breiter, A. / Kubicek, H. (2016): Offene Verwaltungsdaten und Verwaltungstransparenz. Stand der Forschung und offene Fragen. In: Verwaltung und Management, 22 (6), S. 283-296.
  5. Göpfert, T. / Breiter, A. (2015): Knowledge Discovery in Big Data: Herausforderungen durch Big Data im Prozess der Wissensgewin-nung am Beispiel des CRISP-DM. in: Douglas Cunningham, Petra Hofstedt, Klaus Meer, Ingo Schmitt, (Hrsg.), INFORMATIK 2015, Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI). Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik, S. 1219-1230
  6. Hasebrink, U. / Hepp, A. (2017): How to research cross-media practices? Investigating media repertoires and media ensembles. In: Convergence, 23(4), S. 362-377.
  7. Hasebrink, U. / Popp, J. (2006): Media repertoires as a result of selective media use. A conceptual approach to the analysis of patterns of exposure. In: Communications, 31 (2), S. 369-387.
  8. Hepp, A. / Loosen, W. / Hasebrink, U. (2021). Jenseits des Computational Turn: Methodenentwicklung und Forschungssoftware in der Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft. In: M&K Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft M&K, Volume 69 (2021), Issue 1, ISSN: 1615-634X, ISSN online: 1615-634X, PDF open access verfügbar unter https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/1615-634X-2021-1-3-1.pdf?download_full_pdf=1&page=1 
  9. Hepp, A. / Roitsch, C. / Berg, M. (2016): Investigating communication networks contextually. Qualitative network analysis as cross-media research. In: MedieKultur, 32 (60), S. 87-106.
  10. Hohmann, F. (2021): Co-Creation als Entwicklungsmethode. Zu Möglichkeiten und Grenzen partizipativer Forschungssoftwareentwicklung am Beispiel der Sortiersoftware MeSort und Tagebuchsoftware MeTag. In: M&K Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft 69(1), S. 97-116. PDF open access verfügbar unter https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/1615-634X-2021-1-97.pdf?download_full_pdf=1&page=1 
  11. Loosen, W. (2015): Card Sorting. In: Diaz-Bone, R. / Weischer, C. (eds.): Methoden-Lexikon für die Sozialwissenschaften. Wiesbaden: Springer, S. 61.
  12. Loosen, W. / Schmidt, J.-H. (2016): Multi-method approaches in journalism research. In: Witschge, T. (ed.): The SAGE Handbook of digital journalism. New Delhi, London, New York: Sage, S. 562-576.
  13. Merten, L. (2020): Contextualized Repertoire Maps - Exploring the Role of Social Media in News-Related Media Repertoires. In: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, v. 21, n. 2. ISSN 1438-5627. Verfügbar unter: <http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/3235/4604>. [02.06.2020]
  14. A standard for (qualitative) diary studies: MeTag app  and MeTag analyzer. (2023). Mobile Media & Communication, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/20501579221147599
  15. Hohmann, F., Belli, A., & Hepp, A. (2023). Software presentation: MeTag Analyze and MeTag App media diary software. Mobile Media & Communication, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/20501579221135356
  16. Hepp, A., Hohmann, F. & Belli, A. (2023).Lasst uns unsere Tools gemeinsam bauen!. Publizistik (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11616-023-00803-
: Alessandro Belli

Alessandro Belli

Institution Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research of the University of Bremen (ZeMKI)

Building/room: LINZ6 61.020
Phone: +49 (0) 421 218 676 53
E-Mail: belliprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp
Prof. Dr.

Andreas Hepp

Institution Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research of the University of Bremen (ZeMKI)

Building/room: LINZ4 40200
Phone: +49 (0) 421 218 676 20
E-Mail: andreas.heppprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

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