User-Centred Social Media

General information

From 1. 10. 2015 until 31. 03. 2020
Contact Persons:
Sponsored by:
  • DFG
Reference number:
GRK 2167


Main Project Page

The emergence of Social Media marks a significant step in the application of information and communication technology with a profound impact on people, businesses, and society. Social Media constitute complex sociotechnical systems, encompassing potentially very large user groups, both in public and organizational contexts, and exhibiting features such as user-generated content, social interaction and awareness, and emergent functionality. While Social Media use is widespread and increasing, significant research gaps exist with respect to analyzing and understanding the characteristics and determinants of user behaviour, both at the individual and the collective level, as well as regarding the user-centered design of Social Media systems, aiming at empowering users to better appropriate, control and adapt systems for their individual goals. There is a growing demand in academia and in industry for scientifically trained experts that are knowledgeable both in the human-oriented and the technical aspects of Social Media.

The Research Training Group "User-Centred Social Media" addresses this need by providing an outstanding interdisciplinary research and qualification environment, located in a University department that fully integrates researchers from computer science and psychology. Our research and qualification program provides primarily students with a computer science and/or a psychology background with the knowledge and methods from both areas required to perform high-quality research and development in Social Media. The development of an interdisciplinary methodology forms a core part of the research program and is be reflected in the individual dissertation themes. The program comprises modular qualification components combined with interdisciplinary team structures as well as supervision and mentoring by internal and external scientists from both fields. The RTG obtains additional support through internal resources and associated researchers and benefits from the University’s strong engagement in internationalization and diversity management.