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Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies - A European Research Infrastructure


Text storage module

Text storage module based on elastic research with role and project-based access to metadata and raw text, published via github and the project website.

Project website

Building up the project webpage for all stakeholders - for internal and public use - on basis of conceptual project design.

Online learning material & training session

In collaboration with WP9, WP3 online learning material for (first-time) users of the cre-ated media data inventories will be developed.The legal issues related to data scraping are discussed with WP10 and reflected in the types of collected tools and provided learning material.

Web-based annotation module

Web-based annotation module to allow for coding of validation and training data, published via github and the project website.

Collection of text preprocessing module

Collection of text preprocessing module based on state of the art off the shelf open source linguistic tools, published via github and the project website.

Public access webpage

Website that allows basic search functionality and generation of visual, descriptive analyses (term or topic frequencies) across countries, time, and political actors.

Website: texts political organizations

To foster the usage of the texts as data sources for the analysis of political organizations a website offering information on both the different text types produced by political organizations and where and how they can be accessed will be set up.

Research toolkit

Development of a toolkit for non-consumptive research, meaning that third parties have sufficient access to underlying data to check or replicate studies and conduct new research, but without getting direct access to data that cannot be publicly shared due to copyright, privacy, or other concerns.

Tool for data linkage

Develop a tool that facilitates and partly automatizes data linkages. A tool (for example in R, or Py-thon) will be build. Based on substantial choices made by the researchers, the tool facilitates combin-ing datasets.

Case Study: Data selection for cross country research

WP3 coordinates with WP8 that the inventory can be linked to text sources from WP2, WP4, and WP5. Relevant for WP3 are here for example the definition of Europe and the detailed organization of the inventory (e.g., classification of political parties and the categories for political leanings of media sources; labeling and formatting of publication date, country and language codes/abbreviations).

Peer reviewed article II

Peer reviewed article describing the need for non-consumptive research and the functionality of the toolkit.

Evaluation of accessibility & usability of existing text collections

Based on the inventory an evaluation of the accessibility and usability of existing text collections will be conducted to define best practices for making textual data easily accessible for a variety of users.

Feasibility report

Based on the inventory and the case study the final feasibility report of the infrastructure set up in the context of OPTED will be made.

Review article about media classification typologies

The results of the conceptual overview of text data are summarized in a review article about journalistic massmediated text types in Europe

Tool collection

Provide a tool collection of a) data scrapers for media websites (and archives, social network APIs, RSS-feeds), of b) data selection methods to select ‘political media texts’ (in accordance with the defi-nition of a political media text), and of c) media text deduplication methods (account for dynamic update of news websites, multiple versions per archive and across archives).

3rd monitoring and observance report

Third monitoring and observance report on the ELSA requirements. A report on the validation of the ELSA requirements after the completion of the final infrastructure design.

Report detailing a proto-type platform

A prototype of the platform to house curated inventory. The deliverable will be in the form of a report detailing the platform with an analysis of initial expert and user feedback on the prototype platform.

Systematic literature review of theoretical contextualization of CPPT

A description of existing theoretical approaches to CPPT Within a systematic literature review we will build an extensive theoretical contextualization what theoretical approaches have been used to comprehend and explain CPPT over the last 15 years

Workflow linking types of data sources

Develop a stepwise workflow for linking different types of data sources, addressing appropriate identifiers and aggregation levels.

Proofs of concept

Proofs of concept for selected key validation challenges on the road map, formulating future-oriented best practices, so as to enable a systematic validation of existing approaches, and development of innovative approaches.

Meeting bureaucrats/data scientists

Towards a better infrastructure of parliamentary archives for scientific research Exchange with parliamentary practitioners and data scientists in EU and national parliaments on parliamentary APIs for political science research

Inventory (Database) of media sources

Within the decided scope and organisation of the inventory concrete media sources will be listed.

Inventory of data sources & linkage

Establish an inventory of data sources and opportunities for linkage

Training tutorials for ParlLawSpeech

Develop training material for integrated database ParlLawSpeech: easy-to-use sample materials and hands-on instructions for researchers employing our data in a wide variety of research settings and for different research agendas. We provide unhindered data access by contributing training modules, tutorials, and a test framework of a generic API to WP 7 and 9.

Inventory of CPPT data, tools, and methodology

Building up an extensive inventory of a types of texts in CPPT and how they are produced b the predominant strategies for collecting CPPT and 3 the varieties of tools and methodological approaches deployed to analyze CPPT

CPPT Guidelines

Guidelines for good practice and proposal for developing a data repository of CPPT in collaboration with WP10 and WP9.

ELSA by design questionnaire

Questionnaire to be shared with partners to gather information about the architecture and functioning of this project

Conceptual framework

Creation of a framework of common access-related issues and an updated list of specific aspects of CTTP research that might be inhibited by existing legal considerations. The Task will feed into WP10 which will use this map to investigate specific legal frameworks of relevance related both to national frame-works and those associated with the technology platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Blueprint on case study

Conduct a case study that includes both linkage of data sources as well as concepts. Multiple datasets will be selected and combined to (a) outline the linkage process; (b) demonstrate the usability of the tool and answers substantially relevant questions.

Integrated standard recommendations

Formulate integrated standards and generalized procedures suitable to engage in a systematic comparative validation of multilingual text analysis tools and approaches; collate reference data sets, databases (e.g., word embeddings) and computational resources needed for the implementation of these standards.

Inventory of text collections

An overview of available collections of texts for all EU member states, Iceland, Israel, Norway, and Switzerland will be provided.

Review of available parliamentary corpora

Systematic overview of available parliamentary speech corpora, online report

Report challenges & solutions for studies

A report will be produced that will identify challenges one encounters when working with such different text types in a comparative analysis and that will develop possible solutions to these challenges.

Peer reviewed article I

Peer reviewed article describing the storage system and preprocessing facilities

Update of the CPPT inventory

Update of the data and theory inventory review for the duration of the project. Furthermore both repository would be comprehensively described.

Description of text types produced by political organizations

A detailed description of the different types of texts produced by political organizations interesting for political science research will be created.

Dataset ParlLawSpeech

Creation of ParlLawSpeech parliamentary speech database for national parliaments and the EU. This task builds on and systematically extends the initial experiences and resources developed by the ParlSpeech project (Rauh et al., 2017).

Integrated hub and knowledge base for multilingual computational text analysis

Build a living hub (in the form of a Wiki, whose initial contents are developed by WP6, but with the aim of attracting future contributions from the research community) as knowledge base and central access point for the research community supporting the acquisition, integration and future develop-ment of methodological insights, computational tools and validation resources.


Communicating in an eventful campaign: A case study of party press releases during the German federal election campaign 2021

Author(s): Christoph Ivanusch; Lisa Zehnter; Tobias Burst
Published in: Electoral Studies, Issue Volume 86, 2023, ISSN 0261-3794
Publisher: Pergamon Press Ltd.
DOI: 10.1016/j.electstud.2023.102703

Comparative European legislative research in the age of large-scale computational text analysis: A review article

Author(s): Sebők, M., Proksch, S.-O., Rauh, C., Visnovitz, P., Balázs, G., & Schwalbach, J.
Published in: International Political Science Review, 2023, ISSN 1460-373X
Publisher: SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/01925121231199904

Creating an Enhanced Infrastructure of Parliamentary Archives for Better Democratic Transparency and Legislative Research: Report on the OPTED forum in the European Parliament (Brussels, Belgium, 15 June 2022).

Author(s): Rebeka Kiss; Miklós Sebők
Published in: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies, Issue 2(2), 2022, Page(s) 278-284, ISSN 2352-7072
Publisher: Brill
DOI: 10.1163/26668912-bja10053

Plundering the liberal philosophical tradition? The use or abuse of Adam Smith in Parliament, 1919-2023

Author(s): Zachary Greene; Thomas Schober; Thomas Scotto; Graeme Roy
Published in: National Institute Economic Review, Issue 1(13), 2023, ISSN 0027-9501
Publisher: SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1017/nie.2023.23

Donor political preferences and the allocation of aid: Patterns in recipient type

Author(s): Zachary D Greene; Amanda A Licht
Published in: Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2023, ISSN 0738-8942
Publisher: SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/07388942231195300

Introduction to the Special Issue on Multilingual Text Analysis

Author(s): Mariken A.C.G van der Velden; Martijn Schoonvelde2; Christian Baden
Published in: Computational Communication Research, Issue Volume 5, Issue 2, 2023, Page(s) 1, ISSN 2665-9085
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
DOI: 10.5117/ccr2023.2.1.vand

Three Gaps in Computational Text Analysis Methods for Social Sciences: A Research Agenda

Author(s): Christian Baden; Christian Pipal; Martijn Schoonvelde; Mariken A. C. G van der Velden
Published in: Communication Methods and Measures, Issue 16, 2021, Page(s) 1-18, ISSN 1931-2458
Publisher: Routledge
DOI: 10.1080/19312458.2021.2015574

Leaving the Space—Opening the Gap? Electoral Effects of Parties’ and Voters’ Repositioning

Author(s): Bernhard Weßels
Published in: The Changing German Voter, Issue 21 Apr. 2022, 2022, Page(s) 50–77, ISBN 9780191882197
Publisher: online edn, Oxford Academic
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198847519.003.0003

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