Today, universities and research organizations are expected to   present themselves as service enterprises, that have to cater to   the needs of the customer, and give a modern impression in   order to be able to compete internationally. Realizing the fact   that scientists have to step out of the  "arcanum" of the ivory   tower has led to an intensified dialogue between science,   economy, state, and society. Has the Internet provided new   ways for global science communication, especially for the   „Public Understanding of Science and Humanities (PUSH)“?    This is the main objective of the research project "Science   Communication Online" carried out at the Free University of   Berlin. The paper summarizes the results of a content  analysis   made in the early summer of 2000. As empirical basis of the study, webpages of German universities and non-university- based research institutions have been examined. The selected   institutions belong to the most renowned research centers   worldwide, according to the Science Citation Index (SCI).

In the first part of the paper we discuss the service potential of   central homepages and portals of supervisory institutions and   research institutes. Secondly, we shall analyse the target   groups being addressed by central homepages on the one hand   and by documents of single institutes and research groups on   the other. Thirdly, we shall proceed a step further than regular   website-analysers by analysing the means and contents of the   texts as regards the   extent to which technical terms are used   and explained. These aspects are seen as indicators of text   understandability - for non-specialists.

 
 

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Promoting science on the web public relations for science organizations
Results of a content analysis

Utz Lederbogen   Free University of Berlin

Joachim Trebbe   Free University of Berlin

Today, universities and research organizations are expected to   present themselves as service enterprises, that have to cater to   the needs of the customer, and give a modern impression in   order to be able to compete internationally. Realizing the fact   that scientists have to step out of the  "arcanum" of the ivory   tower has led to an intensified dialogue between science,   economy, state, and society. Has the Internet provided new   ways for global science communication, especially for the   „Public Understanding of Science and Humanities (PUSH)“?    This is the main objective of the research project "Science   Communication Online" carried out at the Free University of   Berlin. The paper summarizes the results of a content  analysis   made in the early summer of 2000. As empirical basis of the study, webpages of German universities and non-university- based research institutions have been examined. The selected   institutions belong to the most renowned research centers   worldwide, according to the Science Citation Index (SCI).

In the first part of the paper we discuss the service potential of   central homepages and portals of supervisory institutions and   research institutes. Secondly, we shall analyse the target   groups being addressed by central homepages on the one hand   and by documents of single institutes and research groups on   the other. Thirdly, we shall proceed a step further than regular   website-analysers by analysing the means and contents of the   texts as regards the   extent to which technical terms are used   and explained. These aspects are seen as indicators of text   understandability - for non-specialists.

 
 

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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