Reading: Using Digital Archives in Quantitative Discourse Studies: Methodological Reflections

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Using Digital Archives in Quantitative Discourse Studies: Methodological Reflections

Author:

Kobie Van Krieken

NL
About Kobie
Kobie van Krieken is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Language Studies at the Radboud University. Her research focuses on the form, function, and impact of news narratives.
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Abstract

This methodological essay discusses the possibilities of using digital archives in quantitative discourse studies. I illustrate these possibilities by discussing a study in which the digital archive Delpher was used to build a relatively large corpus of newspaper narratives (N=300) in order to test hypotheses about the historical development of linguistic features associated with objective and subjective reporting. The large amount of data collected in digital archives like Delpher facilitates the construction of corpora for such hypothesis-driven studies. However, the collection of newspaper articles on Delpher in fact constitutes only a small, non-random and continuously changing selection of all available data. Due to these characteristics, the use of Delpher jeopardizes two core values of quantitative empirical research: the generalizability and the replicability of findings. Although these issues cannot be easily overcome, I argue that digital archives have the potential to broaden the methodological scope of discourse studies and increase the overall significance of the field.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.343
How to Cite: Van Krieken, K., (2015). Using Digital Archives in Quantitative Discourse Studies: Methodological Reflections. Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies. (38), pp.43–50. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.343
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Published on 07 Dec 2015.
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