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Academic Communication in Multimedia Environment (ACiME)

About ACiME

"Academic Communication in Multimedia Environment" is a Bulgarian-German research project funded by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. The project’s aim is to identify features of today’s scientific communication in multimedia settings. How do scholars communicate and how is academic information sought with the help of the Internet? Is the issue of plagiarism and authorship avoided or supported by the use of the Internet? In how far are hyperlinks relevant for finding suitable information on the web; do people make use of hyperlinks if available? These and many more questions evolving around current trends of academic communication in multimedia environment shall be analysed within this project.

Data collection

In order to find answers to the above-mentioned questions, three different data collection methods are applied. First, questionnaires are distributed asking informants about their use of various communication tools, sources of information, use of hyperlinks, and attitudes towards plagiarism. Secondly, a website analysis of online profiles of active linguists is undertaken to compare whether there are differences in the provision of information concerning aspects such as online biographies, personal information, and bibliographies of publications as well as links to particular publications and other pages. These pages are analysed to distinguish how scholars present themselves online and thus how scholars communicate on the web as well as to discover variations among scholars around the globe. This way, we can find out whether globalisation has an impact on academic communication, as well as whether specific nations prefer specific styles of providing information online. Profiles of active linguists from the following countries are observed: USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

Finally, video material recorded with the screen-capture program Camtasia is collected, which allows us to gather hands-on information on what people in fact do when using the Internet for academic purposes. The test persons receive a task to complete on the computer while Camtasia records their every move. While the subjects carry out an Internet search, Camtasia records their mouse movements, their movements from one page to another, their use or negligence of hyperlinks and other Internet-related activities. After the Internet search, the test persons are asked to write an essay on their findings as well as their steps of search, thus providing us with a summary of what the subjects think they did while searching for appropriate academic information, which can be compared to the video of what they actually did during the process. It will also give us insight into how scholars digest information and the 'copy-and-paste' and quoting behaviour when writing a text.

Research goals

The project's aim is to reveal how and to what extent scholars make use of the opportunities provided by the Internet. Furthermore, a main objective is also to create a methodology for the investigation of academic communication for further research.

ACiME Conference

In September 2015, a conference on ACiME took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The keynote speakers were Prof. Diane Pecorari, Prof. Angelika Storrer, Prof. Klaus P. Schneider, Prof. Irena Vassileva. More information can be found in the conference call here.

The project also has its own website with all relevant information.

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