University of Vienna

Department of Government

The Department of Goverment (Faculty of Social Sciences) is the project leader of Digitize! Sylvia Kritzinger, Professor for Methods in the Social Sciences, is responsible for Project Management (WP1, with Julia Barta) and the Individual Data Collection (WP2, with Dr. Katharina Pfaff).

At the Department of Government political scientists investigate and teach in several research areas such as quantitative methods (especially survey research), Austrian politics or comparative politics.

Sylvia Kritzinger and her team participate in numerous ongoing and finalised projects such as the Austrian Corona Panel Project, the Austrian National Elections Study (AUTNES), the European Value Survey and others. In Digitize!, the Department of Government is responsible for the overall project management and coordination and digital data collections through surveys (Daniel Weitzel).

Department of Communication

  • Lead of work package 3: Hajo Boomgaarden

The Department's team around Hajo Boomgaarden, Professor for Methods in the Social Sciences and Dean of the Faculty for Social Sciences, will focus on research with and on text data as well as the linkage with other data formates and sources.

The Department of Communication has several topical and methodological focus areas dealing inter alia with political communication, journalism, advertising, methods of data collection and analysis etc. Hajo Boomgaarden is, beside Digitize!, involved in several other third-party funded research and infrastructure projects (e.g. MIRROR or AUTNES) including the H2020 project OPTED of which he is the project leader.

Faculty of Computer Science: Research Group Data Mining

  • Lead of work package 4: Sebastian Tschiatschek
  • Lead of work package 6: Claudia Plant

The research group Data Mining participates in Digitize! with the head of the group and the Faculty's Vice Dean, Univ.-Prof. Claudia Plant, and Sebastian Tschiatschek, Ass.-Prof. for Machine Learning and Deputy Head of the Data Mining research group. The group is researching and developing data mining and machine learning methods such as algorithms enabling the analysis and interpretation of unstructured big data in efficient and smart ways.

Sebastian Tschiatschek leads WP4 which will investigate and test in Digitize! if and how data science techniques like specifically tailored algorithms may be applied to social scientific research data (survey data, text data) and their linkage.

Claudia Plant leads WP6 which will establish an Experimental Data Science Lab. This research lab will mainly focus on innovative collaborations between social sciences and data sciences by a) setting-up interdisciplinary research projects (for PhD students) and b) developing an Master course Computational Social Science aimed at equipping social science students with data science skills and vice versa.

Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law

  • Lead of work package 7: Nikolaus Forgó
  • Researchers: Paul Eberstaller, Filip Paspalj

The Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law at the Faculty of Law (University of Vienna) is headed by Nikolaus Forgó, Professor of IT and IP law. In Digitize! his team conducts analyses and research on various legal aspects in the field of digitization and computational data processing.

The Department was founded in 2017 and is a nexus between the Faculty of Law and the digital revolution. It conducts research on a variety of legal issues within the modern media and information society arising from fast and ongoing increases in emerging technological innovations: in particular, in data protection law and the intellectual property (IP) law. Another research focus is e-commerce and consumer protection law from a European and comparative perspective as well as Legal Tech and innovations in legal occupational areas.

Following an international and interdisciplinary perspective on these issues, the department is involved in several European research projects, e.g. on the usage of data in medicine and for criminal prosecution purposes.

Department of Political Science

  • Lead of work package 8: Barbara Prainsack
  • Project researcher: Connor Hogan (from March 2023); Seliem El-Sayed

Barbara Prainsack is head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on health, science and medical politics; currently her main emphasis is in the area of practices and institutions of solidarity in healthcare. She authored numerous books and articles in academic research journals (including "Science" und "Nature"). 

Next to her research and teaching activities Barbara Prainsack participates in several advisory bodies: she is member of the Austrian Bioethics Commission, the European Group for Ethics in Natural Sciences and New Technologies, which advises the European Commission.

In Digitize! Barbara Prainsack - together with Connor Hogan and Seliem El-Sayed - is responsible for investigating ethical and social aspects in the context of Computational Social Sciences.

University of Linz

Department for Empirical Social Research

Division Data Acquisition and Data Quality in the Department of Applied Statistics

  •  Lead of work package 5: Dimitri Prandner
  •  Research partner in work package 2

The work package is located at the Department for Empirical Social Research (Institute for Sociology) at Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) and led by Dr. Dimitri Prandner; Mag.a Katrin Hasengruber and Mag. Matthias Forstner MSSc. are involved in Digitize! as researchers. Further participants are Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bacher (Head of the Department for Empirical Social Research at the Institute for Sociology at the JKU Linz) as well as  A.Univ-Prof. Dr. Quatember (Division Data Acquisition and Data Quality in the Department of Applied Statistics).

In Digitize!, the University of Linz will primarily investigate the digitalisation of social-scientific methods teaching in Austria (WP5 lead by Dimitri Prandner). Starting with repeated surveys amongst methods lecturers at Austrian universities and structured interviews with experts for social-scientific research methods, the work package aims to establish a prototype for an Open Access Plattform.

In addition, the JKU team is involved with several members in the areas of digital survey research and the Austrian panel design in WP2.



University of Graz

Institute for Sociology

  • Responsible for the Social Survey Austria (SSÖ) in WP2
  • Involved in WP2 activities around surveys and panel designs
  • Participants: Markus Hadler, Anja Eder

The Institute for Sociology at the University of Graz, represented in Digitize! by Markus Hadler and Anja Eder, contributes its extensive expertise in sociological population surveys to the Digitize! project. The Institute's research focus - international comparative and historical societal analyses - is especially reflected within Digitize! through the implementation of the Social Survey Austria (Sozialer Survey Österreich - SSÖ). 

The Social Survey Austria is a inter-university survey programme establised in 1986 for monitoring societal changes of behaviour patterns and values in key spheres of life and social problem areas (e.g. family, work, politics, religion, social inequality, health and environment). The SSÖ is linked to the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), allowing for the analysis of societal change in Austria over time as well as in international comparison.

Participants in the conceptualisation and implementation of the SSÖ-ISSP are currently the Universities of Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Vienna. All collected data are stored in the Austrian Social Science Data Archive (AUSSDA) and may be used free of charge by researchers, students and other interetested persons.


University of Salzburg

  • Division of Political Science and Sociology: represented by Wolfgang Aschauer
  • Participation in work package 2
  • Further participants: Martin Weichbold, Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, Alexander Seymer

The University of Salzburg participates in Digitize! with its Devision of Political Science and Sociology. In particular, the Salzburg team will contribute to the project's areas of survey research and panel design.

The Division's research areas comprise various theoretical and empirical aspects of societal phenomena and changes. In concrete, its research expertise includes issues such as social change, mobility, inequality, work, family and empirical research methods.

In Digitize!, the University of Salzburg is represented by two sociological survey experts: Wolfgang Aschauer and Martin Weichbold. For 15 years, members of the Division of Political Science and Sociology  have been researching and publishing on methods of empirical social research. In this time, more than 60 publications (books, jounal articles, chapters) were documented. The majority deals with key methodological questions, especially in the area of social-scientific data construction. With a holistic approach, data quality is to be analysed based on a broad understanding and key components for a theory of surveys are to be developed. Another field of specialisation within the Division is the investigation on fundamental methodological challenges in a comparative manner across cultures: Wolfgang Aschauer und Martin Weichbold are also highly engaged in cross-country research.