European Databases Make Media Research Evidence Accessible

An increasing number of transnational research projects aim to produce added value by collecting research into Open Access databases. Recent examples with Nordic contributions include databases for European media ownership, research on children’s online behaviour, and content analysis.

Recently, the EU-funded research project European Media Ownership Monitor released the Media Owners Database with data related to media ownership in 15 EU member states. The three Nordic countries that are also members of the European Union – Finland, Denmark, and Sweden – were included in the project. The database is a result of the European Media Ownership Monitor research project, where the goal is to increase knowledge about who owns the major news media in the EU. The project is now collecting information on the countries that were not included in the first round.

Another EU-funded project collected research and evidence on children and young people’s online behaviour into a pan-European database – or, actually, three different databases – drawing on the same dataset covering 35 European countries. The CO:RE Evidence Database addresses the implications of research on children and young people’s online behaviour for stakeholders such as parents, educators, and policy-makers. The CO:RE Data Directory lists the study entries identified as relevant from each country and offers the empirical data for re-analysis for academic and research-interested users. The CO:RE data explorer is a visualisation tool that gives access to data on children’s online experiences in Europe, of which data are extracted from the EU Kids Online survey 2020. The databases produced within the project Children Online: Research and Evidence (CO:RE) are, indeed, affiliated with the EU Kids Online Network, coordinated by the University of Oslo, with a national team in each Nordic country.

Also, a European database was dedicated to a widely used method in media and communication research, content analysis, and is called DOCA: Database of Variables for Content Analysis. It presents content-analytical variables for communication and political science research areas and topics with descriptions, operationalisations, and assessment of the variables. The entries in the database are peer reviewed and present, among other things, formats, genres, and topics of news coverage, as well as different methods of measuring printed and digital journalistic coverage. The database offers a starting point for the operationalisation of content-analytical questions and thus provides a basis for standardisation and comparability of content-analytic studies. The Open Access database was accompanied by an anthology entitled Standardized Content Analysis in Communication Research: A Handbook, published by Springer.

For all databases, the entries from Sweden were collected and produced by Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg.

Photo: Kevin Ku, Unsplash