A ‘co-creation approach’ for developing an infrastructure model for the digital diary and sorting apps MeTag and MeSort


DFG project „The sustainable provision of software for cross-media practices and digital traces research“

Participating institutions:
ZeMKI, Uni Bremen, Hans-Bredow-Institute Hamburg, Institut for Information Management Bremen

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Project duration: 2018-2021


Core Aim

The core aim of this research project is to further develop the media diary software MeTag and the Q-sort resp. free sort software MeSort while establishing in the meantime a good practice model for providing software for research on media and communications.

How We Do It

To undertake this as closely as possible to the needs of researchers in media and communications and to build up a sustainable community of researchers that applies this software we will adopt a co-creation approach. This approach will be centered around the development of two mobile apps and web-based tools for collecting and analysing data on cross-media practices and their digital traces: the media diary software MeTag and the extended sorting software MeSort. This is motivated by the need to address two core demands in empirical research on media practices: The first one refers to the field of cross-media research with its need for research software that is able to collect data on media practices across different kinds of media. The second one refers to the challenge of the digital traces left by users in online media, and which calls for software that is able to collect data to suitably contextualise such digital traces. These challenges are already partly addressed by the prototypes MeTag and MeSort. However, these applications and their infrastructure need further development to fully reflect the challenges involved and to be sustainable.

Project Outcome

The final outcome of our project will be a sustainable Open Source infrastructure and model that makes it possible to secure a long-term development and availability of the software. As part of this, we will increase the security, optionality, usability and accessibility of the MeTag and MeSort software. Our aim is that media and communications scholars without advanced technical knowledge, as well as participants in research projects, feel comfortable using this software.

Co-Creation Approach

Through our co-creation approach, (future) users of the research software are granted an expanded role and a high degree of involvement: on the one hand they are invited to contribute suggestions and ideas with regard to the field application and further functionalities of the software. On the other hand they can share their experiences after applying the software in their own research projects.


The development of MeSort and MeTag is based on our joint expertise gained over many years of research on media repertoires, media ensembles, communication practices and data practices. Information on the further research context of our software development can be found mainly in these two publications:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp
(Principal Investigator)
Universität Bremen

ZeMKI, Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung
Linzer Str. 4 | 28359 Bremen
Tel.: +49-421-218-67601
Fax: +49-421-218-98 67601 http://www.zemki.uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter
Institut für Informationsmanagement Bremen GmbH

Am Fallturm 1 | 28359 Bremen
Tel.: +49-421-218-56580
Fax: +49-421-218-56599

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen
Leibniz Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut
Rothenbaumchaussee 36  | 20148 Hamburg
Tel.: +49-40-450217-0
Fax: +49-40-450217-77