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Sebastian Stier is a Scientific Director of the department Computational Social Science at GESIS and Professor of Computational Social Science at the University of Mannheim. Stier uses digital behavioral data and computational methods such as automated text analysis to study interdisciplinary research questions at the intersection of sociology, political science and communication science. His substantive research focuses on the impact of digital media on societies and democratic processes. Methodologically, Stier and his colleagues at GESIS develop research software for the direct observation of online behavior and investigate the quality and value of digital behavioral data for social science research. Stier is leading projects funded by the German Research Foundation DFG, the Volkswagen Foundation and the Leibniz Association. Recent work has been published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and the European Journal of Political Research. More information on Sebastian Stier can be found on his personal website.

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Journal article

Clemm von Hohenberg, Bernhard, Sebastian Stier, Ana S. Cardenal, Andrew M. Guess, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, and Magdalena Wojcieszak. 2024. "Analysis of Web Browsing Data: A Guide." Social Science Computer Review. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Caterina Froio, and Justin Chun-ting Ho. 2024. "Mainstreaming the populist radical right?: Online news exposure and voting behavior in the 2019 European Parliament election." European Political Science Review 16 (1): 1-17. doi:

Kirkizh, Nora, Roberto Ulloa, Sebastian Stier, and Jürgen Pfeffer. 2024. "Predicting political attitudes from web tracking data: a machine learning approach." Journal of Information Technology & Politics. doi:

Bachl, Marko, Elena Link, Frank Mangold, and Sebastian Stier. 2024. "Search Engine Use for Health-Related Purposes: Behavioral Data on Online Health Information-Seeking in Germany." Health Communication. doi:

Oschatz, Corinna, Teresa Gil-Lopez, Dylan Paltra, Sebastian Stier, and Tanjev Schultz. 2024. "Social media posts as source for political news coverage inside and outside election campaigns: Examining effects on deliberative news media quality." Journalism. doi:

Maier, Jürgen, Corinna Oschatz, Sebastian Stier, and Ingo Zettler. 2023. "A short scale to measure self-reported aversive personality in political elites." Journal of Personality Assessment 105 (5): 625-635. doi:

Maier, Jürgen, Sebastian Stier, and Corinna Oschatz. 2023. "Are candidates rational when it comes to negative campaigning?: Empirical evidence from three German candidate surveys." Party Politics 29 (4): 766-779. doi:

Weiß, Julia, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "Die Verknüpfung von digitalen Verhaltensdaten und Umfragedaten." easy_social_sciences 68 31-38. doi:

Oschatz, Corinna, Marius Saeltzer, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "Establishing standards for human-annotated samples applied in supervised machine learning: Evidence from a Monte Carlo simulation." Studies in Communication and Media 12 (4): 289–304. doi:

Kirkizh, Nora, Caterina Froio, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "Issue trade-offs and the politics of representation: Experimental evidence from four European democracies." European Journal of Political Research 62 (4): 1009-1030. doi:

Mangold, Frank, Mareike Wieland, Sebastian Stier, and Lukas Otto. 2023. "Neue Infrastrukturen für die Messung digitaler Mediennutzung." Publizistik 68 263–280. doi:

Breuer, Johannes, Zoltán Kmetty, Mario Haim, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "User-centric approaches for collecting Facebook data in the ‘post-API age’: Experiences from two studies and recommendations for future research." Information, Communication & Society 26 (14): 2649-2668. doi:

Schürmann, Lennart, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "Who represents the constituency?: Online political communication by members of parliament in the German mixed-member electoral system." Legislative Studies Quarterly 48 (1): 219-234. doi:

Schoch, David, Franziska B Keller, Sebastian Stier, and JungHwan Yang. 2022. "Coordination patterns reveal online political astroturfing across the world." Scientific Reports 2022 (12): 4572. doi:

Saeltzer, Marius, and Sebastian Stier. 2022. "Die Bundestagswahl 2021 auf Twitter." Easy social sciences (67): 30-38. doi:

Trilling, Damian, Juhi Kulshrestha, Claes de Vreese, Denis Halagiera, Jakub Jakubowski, Judith Möller, Cornelius Puschmann, Agnieszka Stępińska, Sebastian Stier, and Cristian Vaccari. 2022. "Is sharing just a function of viewing?: The sharing of political and non-political news on Facebook." Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media 2. doi:

Yan, Pu, Ralph Schroeder, and Sebastian Stier. 2022. "Is there a link between climate change scepticism and populism?: An analysis of web tracking and survey data from Europe and the US." Information, Communication & Society 25 (10): 1400-1439 . doi:

Richter, Simon, and Sebastian Stier. 2022. "Learning about the unknown Spitzenkandidaten: The role of media exposure during the 2019 European Parliament elections." European Union Politics 23 (2): 309–329. doi:

Silber, Henning, Johannes Breuer, Christoph Beuthner, Tobias Gummer, Florian Keusch, Pascal Siegers, Sebastian Stier, and Bernd Weiß. 2022. "Linking surveys and digital trace data: Insights from two studies on determinants of data sharing behavior." Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 185 (S2): S387-S407. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Frank Mangold, Michael Scharkow, and Johannes Breuer. 2022. "Post post-broadcast democracy?: News exposure in the age of online intermediaries." American Political Science Review 116 (2): 768-774. doi:

Mangold, Frank, Sebastian Stier, Johannes Breuer, and Michael Scharkow. 2022. "The overstated generational gap in online news use? A consolidated infrastructural perspective." New Media & Society 24 (10): 2207-2226. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Bernd Weiß, Timo Hartmann, Fabian Flöck, Johannes Breuer, Schaurer Ines, and Mirjan Kummerow. 2022. "The role of the information environment during the first COVID-19 wave in Germany." Political Research Exchange 4 (1): 2135451. doi:

Oschatz, Corinna, Sebastian Stier, and Jürgen Maier. 2022. "Twitter in the News: An analysis of embedded tweets in political news coverage." Digital Journalism 10 (9): 1526-1545. doi:

Haim, Mario, Johannes Breuer, and Sebastian Stier. 2021. "Do news actually "find me"?: Using digital behavioral data to study the news-finds-me phenomenon." Social Media and Society 7 (3). doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Caterina Froio, and Wolf J. Schünemann. 2021. "Going transnational?: Candidates’ transnational linkages on Twitter during the 2019 European Parliament elections." West European Politics 44 (7): 1455-1481. doi:

Maier, Michaela, Carlos Jalali, Jürgen Maier, Alessandro Nai, and Sebastian Stier. 2021. "When do parties put Europe in the centre?: Evidence from the 2019 European Parliament election campaign." Politics 41 (4): 433-450.

Scharkow, Michael, Frank Mangold, Sebastian Stier, and Johannes Breuer. 2020. "How social network sites and other online intermediaries increase exposure to news." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (6): 2761-2763. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Johannes Breuer, Pascal Siegers, and Kjerstin Thorson. 2020. "Integrating survey data and digital trace data: Key issues in developing an emerging field." Social Science Computer Review 38 (5): 503-516. doi:

Keller, Franziska, David Schoch, Sebastian Stier, and JungHwan Yang. 2020. "Political astroturfing on Twitter: How to coordinate a disinformation campaign." Political Communication 37 (2): 256-280. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Nora Kirkizh, Caterina Froio, and Ralph Schroeder. 2020. "Populist attitudes and selective exposure to online news – A cross-country analysis combining web tracking and surveys." doi:

Rau, Jan Philipp, and Sebastian Stier. 2019. "Die Echokammer-Hypothese: Fragmentierung der Öffentlichkeit und politische Polarisierung durch digitale Medien?" Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 13 (3): 399–417. doi:

Jungherr, Andreas, Ralph Schroeder, and Sebastian Stier. 2019. "Digital media and the surge of political outsiders: Explaining the success of political challengers in the United States, Germany, and China." Social Media + Society 5 (3). doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Arnim Bleier, Haiko Lietz, and Markus Strohmaier. 2018. "Election Campaigning on Social Media: Politicians, Audiences and the Mediation of Political Communication on Facebook and Twitter." Political Communication 35 (1): 50-74. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Wolf J. Schünemann, and Stefan Steiger. 2018. "Of activists and gatekeepers: Temporal and structural properties of policy networks on Twitter." New Media & Society 20 (5): 1910-1930. doi:

Stier, Sebastian. 2017. "Internet diffusion and regime type: Temporal patterns in technology adoption." Telecommunications Policy 41 (1): 25–34. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Lisa Posch, Arnim Bleier, and Markus Strohmaier. 2017. "When populists become popular: comparing Facebook use by the right-wing movement Pegida and German political parties." Information, Communication & Society 20 (9): 1365-1388. doi:

Schünemann, Wolf J., Stefan Steiger, and Sebastian Stier. 2016. "Transnationalisierung politischer Öffentlichkeit über Soziale Medien – ein Politikfeldvergleich." Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 10 (Suppl. 2): 233-257. doi:

Stier, Sebastian. 2015. "Democracy, Autocracy, and the News: The Impact of Regime Type on Media Freedom." Democratization 22 (7): 1273-1295. doi:

Stier, Sebastian. 2015. "Political Determinants of E-Government Performance Revisited: Comparing Democracies and Autocracies." Government Information Quarterly 32 (3): 270–278. doi:

Schünemann, Wolf J., Stefan Steiger, and Sebastian Stier. 2015. "The Net Neutrality Debate on Twitter." Internet Policy Review 4 (4). doi:

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Chapter in an edited book

Stier, Sebastian, Jürgen Maier, and Corinna Oschatz. 2021. "Die Nutzung sozialer Medien durch Kandidaten im Bundestagswahlkampf 2017." In Wahlen und Wähler: Analysen aus Anlass der Bundestagswahl 2017, edited by Bernhard Weßels, and Harald Schoen, 415-432. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, and Andreas Jungherr. 2019. "Digitale Verhaltensdaten und Methoden der Computational Social Science in der politischen Kommunikationsforschung." In Politik in der digitalen Gesellschaft, edited by Jeanette Hofmann, Norbert Kersting, Claudia Ritzi, and Wolf J. Schünemann, 309-326. Bielefeld: transcript.

Stier, Sebastian. 2019. "Internetfreiheit in Europa." 2. In E-Government und Netzpolitik im europäischen Vergleich, edited by Wolf J. Schünemann, and Marianne Kneuer, 301-320. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Becker, Maria, Marcus Müller, Wolf J. Schünemann, Stefan Steiger, Jörn Stegmeier, and Sebastian Stier. 2019. "Multi-Method Discourse Analysis of Twitter Communication." In Quantifying Approaches to Discourse for Social Scientists, edited by Ronny Scholz, 285-314. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Franziska B., Keller, Schoch David, Sebastian Stier, and JungHwan Yang. 2017. "How to Manipulate Social Media: Analyzing Political Astroturfing Using Ground Truth Data from South Korea." In Proceedings of the Eleventh International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 564-567.

Stier, Sebastian. 2017. "Political Determinants of Media Freedom." In Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights, edited by Howard Tumber, and Silvio Waisbord, 149-157. London: Routledge.

Stier, Sebastian. 2016. "Partisan Framing of Political Debates on Twitter." In Websci' 16: Proceedings of the 8th International ACM Web Science Conference, 365-366.

Stier, Sebastian. 2016. "Studying the Role of Elites in U.S. Political Twitter Debates." In Proceedings of the 6th Microposts Workshop @WWW 2016, 43-45.

Stier, Sebastian. 2015. "Strukturbedingungen im Online-Wahlkampf: USA und Deutschland im Vergleich." In Die US-Präsidentschaftswahl 2012, Analysen der Politik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, edited by Christoph Bieber, and Kamps Klaus, 363–382. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

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Stier, Sebastian, Johannes Breuer, Pascal Siegers, and Kjerstin Thorson, ed. 2020. Integrating survey data and digital trace data: Special issue in social science computer review. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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Stier, Sebastian. 2017. Internet und Regimetyp: Netzpolitik und politische Online-Kommunikation in Autokratien und Demokratien. Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 2. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. doi:

Stier, Sebastian. 2012. Die Bedeutung des Internets als Medium der politischen Kommunikation in Deutschland und den USA – eine vergleichende Fallstudie. Studien zur politischen Kommunikation 6. Münster: Lit-Verlag.

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Working and discussion paper

Stier, Sebastian, Arnim Bleier, Malte Bonart, Fabian Mörsheim, Mahdi Bohlouli, Margarita Nizhegorodov, Lisa Posch, Jürgen Maier, Tobias Rothmund, and Steffen Staab. 2018. Systematically Monitoring Social Media: The Case of the German Federal Election 2017. GESIS Papers 2018|04. GESIS.

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Schoch, David, Bernhard Clemm von Hohenberg, Frank Mangold, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. webtrackR: Preprocessing and Analyzing Web Tracking Data.

Saeltzer, Marius, Sebastian Stier, Joscha Bäuerle, Manuela S. Blumenberg, Valeriya Mechkova, Daniel Pemstein, Brigitte Seim, and Steven Wilson. 2021. Twitter accounts of candidates in the German federal election 2021. doi:

Stier, Sebastian, Sebastian A. Popa, and Daniela Braun. 2020. Political Campaigning on Twitter During the 2019 European Parliament Election Campaign.

Stier, Sebastian, Arnim Bleier, Malte Bonart, Fabian Mörsheim, Mahdi Bohlouli, Margarita Nizhegorodov, Lisa Posch, Jürgen Maier, Tobias Rothmund, and Steffen Staab. 2018. Social Media Monitoring for the German Federal Election 2017. doi:


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Ehrungen und Preise

Mangold, Frank, David Schoch, and Sebastian Stier. 2023. "Best Paper Award ICA Political Communication Division: How ideological selectivity plays out in high-choice media environments."

Link, Elena, Marko Bachl, Frank Mangold, and Sebastian Stier. 2022. "Best Paper Award der Jahrestagung der DGPuK-Fachgruppe Gesundheitskommunikation: Die Anfragen an Dr. Google: Verhaltensdaten zum Online-Informationshandeln mit Gesundheitsbezug."

Schoch, David, Franziska B Keller, Sebastian Stier, and JungHwan Yang. 2019. "Best Paper Award ICA Computational Methods Interest Group: Coordination patterns reveal online political astroturfing across the world."


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Stier, Sebastian, Johannes Breuer, and Pascal Siegers. 2018. "Integrating and analyzing data from surveys and social media." Symposium at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), 2018-02-19 - 2018-02-20.