Research

Current Projects

New York Times on Facebook

Engagement with News Content on Social Media

The majority of Internet users now get at least some of their news through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. As we turn away from actively seeking news from news organizations to receiving it incidentally from personal connections, what impact does this have on news comprehension and engagement?

The primary goal of this research is to understand the outcomes of sharing and discussing news on social media. A related stream of research explores perceptions of credibility of news presented on social media.

Related publications & presentations

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. & DeVoss, C. (2019). Who posted that story? Processing layered sources in Facebook news posts. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly¸ Online first. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699019857673

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Schmierbach, M., Appelman, A., & Boyle, M. (2018). For the birds: Media sourcing, Twitter, and the minimal effect on audience perceptions. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Online first. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856518780438

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Schmierbach, M., Appelman, A., & Boyle, M. (2018, May). Credibility effects of disputed and confirmed information in social media news memes. Paper presented at the 68th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, Czech Republic.

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., (2018). The role of engagement in learning from active and incidental news exposure on social media. Mass Communication and Society, 21, 225-247. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2017.1384022. Winner of the 2019 AEJMC Mass Communication and Society Division Article of the Year Award.

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., & Sundar, S. S. (2015). Posting, commenting, and tagging: Effects of sharing news stories on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 240-249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.024

Schmierbach, M., & Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. (2012). A little bird told me, so I didn’t believe it: Twitter, credibility, and issue perceptions. Communication Quarterly, 60(3), 317-337. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2012.688723


question on facebook

Information Seeking via Social Networking Sites

Online social networks such as Facebook have grown into rich repositories of information that in certain cases are more useful and beneficial than search engines and other online resources. This research explores how people understand their social networks in terms of the information they contain and how they can successfully target these networks with information needs such as product recommendations, opinions, or favor requests.

Related publications & presentations

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. & Gergle, D. (2014, May). Audience targeting strategies for seeking information on Facebook. Paper presented at the 64th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Seattle, WA.

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Hecht, B., Morris, M. R., Teevan, J., & Gergle, D. (2014). To search or to ask: The routing of information needs between traditional search engines and social networks. Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ’14). https://doi.org/10.1145/2531602.2531706


fitness tracking

Fitness Tracking and Sharing on Social Media

The “quantified self” is a growing movement in which we use mobile devices to track our diets, exercise, mood, sleep, and a wide array of health and productivity indicators. Our research is starting to explore the use of tracking apps for health, particularly focused on the effects of sharing on social support for our behaviors.

Related publications & presentations

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., High, A. C., & Christensen, J. L. (2019). Count your calories and share them: Health benefits of sharing mHealth information on social networking sites. Health Communication, 34(1), 1130-1140. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2018.1465791


science communication

Science Communication Training

This project is a collaboration with researchers in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Journalism, and Education. The purpose is to assess the training methods used in a joint graduate STEM/undergraduate journalism science communication course in which scientists are trained to communicate their research to the public via media.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #uconnscicomm

Funded by: Training STEM Graduates to Communicate in the Digital Age, and Measuring Whether It Works (Role: Senior Personnel; PI: Rubega), National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program, 8/1/2015-7/31/2018; $500,000


Additional Select Publications

Obar, J. A., & Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. (2018). The clickwrap: A political economic mechanism for manufacturing consent on social media. Social Media + Society, 4, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118784770

Obar, J. A. & Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. (2018). The biggest lie on the Internet: Ignoring the privacy policies and terms of service policies of social networking services. Information, Communication & Society, Online first. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., & Nowak, K. (2018). There is something I need to tell you: Balancing appropriateness and efficiency in modality choice for interpersonal disclosures. Communication Studies, 69, 125-144. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2017.1417878

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A. & McGloin. R. (2017). Identifying the predictors of participation in Facebook pictivism campaigns. Social Media + Society, 3(3), 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2056305117727637

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Birnholtz, J., & Hancock, J. (2017). Your post is embarrassing me: Face threats, identity, and the audience on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 92-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.030

Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., & Sundar, S. S. (2016). Social and technological motivations for online photo sharing. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 60(4), 624-642. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2016.1234478

High, A., Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., & Bellur, S. (2014). Misery rarely gets company: The influence of emotional bandwidth on supportive communication on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.037