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GESIS Web Tracking for Browser-based Data Collection (in development)

*** GESIS Web Tracking is a service in development. The service will be available by the first quarter 2024.
If you have questions, feedback, or wish to collaborate please e-mail us. ***

Individual media use has fragmented considerably in the digital age and is becoming increasingly short-lived. Self reports of digital media use in surveys can therefore not validly reflect the diversity and content of individual media use. To address these measurement problems, GESIS Web Tracking provides researchers with a software tool for recording browser-based online behavior.

With the software we aim to improve the measurement of digital media use by allowing for longitudinal content recording, and we implement a strictly user-centered approach.

With GESIS Web tracking we offer a universal data collection tool. Especially in combination with established survey instruments on attitudes and characteristics of people, the resulting  data can provide dense information about human behavior and its consequences. Web tracking can be applied in various disciplines such as political science (e.g., media use and voting behavior), psychology (Internet use and mental well-being), economics or sustainability (shopping behavior), or communication science (social media use).

GESIS Web Tracking is conceived as a standalone service that can be easily adapted to various research environments; it is currently used as a module in the GESIS

The provision of the tool comes with:

  • Commitment to open science principles: the browser plugin is maintained, further developed and published open source: you will be able to access source code and use it for your research.
  • Supplementary material: documentation of the browser plugin and method reports on the data collections.
  • Integrated data: the browser plugin is used in the GESIS The data generated from the web tracking module can be linked to the survey data in the panel.
  • Individual consulting: consulting on how to use the browser plugin in infrastructure projects and on the potential and benefits of web tracking data in your individual research.

GESIS Web Tracking builds on a browser plugin originally developed in a project by Prof. Silke Adam and Prof. Michaela Maier.