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E.K. (Erik) Borra MSc

Faculty of Humanities
Departement Mediastudies

Visiting address
  • Turfdraagsterpad 9
Postal address
  • Postbus 94550
    1090 GN Amsterdam
  • Profile


    Erik Borra is assistant professor in Journalism and New Media at the University of Amsterdam. He holds an MSc in artificial intelligence and information retrieval; his PhD research focused on the use of web data and new digital research instruments in the humanities and social sciences.

    Since many years Erik has been the technical director of the Digital Methods Initiative, one of Europe’s leading schools for internet studies. In that capacity he developed dozens of tools to gather, analyze and visualize web data. In addition, he participated in several international research projects concerning i.a. internet censorship ( and the mapping of controversies in politics and science ( Erik also collaborated with Barcelona Media, Yahoo Research, “Pauw en Witteman” and “de Correspondent”, among others. His research now focuses on data (infrastructure) literacy in journalism, the use of web data in journalistic productions, and online journalistic storytelling.

    Erik’s courses for the MA program in Journalism mainly focus on digital sources, data journalism, quantitative methods and multimedia narratives. For the MA in New Media and Digital Culture Erik continues to teach the course Research Methods for New Media.

    Erik is currently the chairman of the board of studies for the MA's in Media Studies. Digital Methods Initiative Tools for Research with the Web
  • Research and Collaborations

    Research and Collaborations

    • Contropedia,” a collaboration of Médialab Sciences-Po (Paris, France), Politech (Milan, Italy), Technische Universität Chemnitz (Chemnitz, Germany), Eurecat (Barcelona, Spain), and DMI (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), 2013 – current.
    • DMI Twitter Capture and Analysis Toolset (DMI-TCAT),” (with E. den Tex and B. Rieder), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2012 – current.
    • Digital Methods Initiative (DMI),” Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2007 – current.
    • Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science (EMAPS),” (with DMI), European research project directed by Bruno Latour, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2011-2014.
    • “Verbroederen de Olympische Spelen?”, (with Dimitri Tokmetzis, de Correspondent), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2014. Articles 123.
    • “Sociale Media Analyse,” with E. Weltevrede and Pauw en Witteman, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2013-2014.
    • ”Co-word Machine and Associational Profiler,” with DMI and N. Marres, Goldsmiths London, 2012-2013.
    • Politics, Elections and Data (PLEAD),” Academic Program Committee, CIKM, workshop track, Maui Hawaii, USA, 29 October – 2 November 2012.
    • “Wikipedia Academy: Research and Free Knowledge,” Academic Program Committee, Berlin, 29 June – 1 July 2012.
    • “Political Search: an investigation into online framing,” Yahoo! research labs, Barcelona, Spain, February – June 2011.
    • Mapping Iran Online,” (with R. Rogers, E. Weltevrede and S. Niederer), Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, May 2011.
    • Mapping the Dutch Blogosphere,” (with A. Helmond and E. Weltevrede), University of Amsterdam, 2011.
    • “Ctrl-X-Ethics: Cyberspace Research Methods Workshop,” Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, January 2011.
    • “Digital Methods and Migration,” TIC-migrations, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France, April – June 2010.
    • Mapping Controversies in Science and Politics (MACOSPOL),” (with DMI), European research project directed by Bruno Latour, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2007 – 2009.
    • Internet Censorship,” (with, and Harvard University), Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2006 – 2007, 2009.
    • “Walled Garden,” (with DMI), Virtueel Platform, Amsterdam, May 2008.
    • “Space for People: Suggested Fields,” (with, research workshop, Video Vortex2, Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, January 2008.
    • “Palestinian Networks in Cyberspace: Emerging trends and their implications for politics, governance, security, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” (with and the Information Society Project, Advanced Network Research Group, Cambridge Security Program, University of Cambridge), Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2007 – 2008.
    • Open-Search: a distributed, peer-to-peer, search-engine,” Amsterdam, 2007.
    • Mapping Public Media,” (with, Ford Foundation with American University, Amsterdam, 2007.
    • Mapping Future Histories of RFID,” (with DMI),de Balie Center for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam, October 2007.
    • Poignancy in the U.S. Political Blogosphere,” (with, Amsterdam, 2005.
    • The News about Networks 2: Making Issues into Rights?” (with, de Balie Center for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam, June 21 – 24 2004
  • Publications


    • Rieder, B., Peeters, S. C. J., & Borra, E. K. (2022). From tool to tool-making: Reflections on authorship in social media research software. Convergence : The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.



    • Borra, E., Niederer, S., Preuß, J., & Weltevrede, E. (2017). Mapping troll-like practices on twitter. In L. Bounegru, J. Gray, T. Venturini, & M. Mauri (Eds.), A 'Field Guide' to 'Fake News' and Other Information Disorders: A collection of recipes for those who love to cook with digital methods (pp. 161-196). Amsterdam: Public Data Lab. [details]
    • Pentzold, C., Weltevrede, E., Mauri, M., Laniado, D., Kaltenbrunner, A., & Borra, E. (2017). Digging Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia as a Digital Cultural Heritage Gateway and Site. ACM journal on computing and cultural heritage : JOCCH, 10(1), [5]. [details]



    • Berry, D. M., Borra, E., Helmond, A., Plantin, J-C., & Rettberg, J. W. (2015). The Data Sprint Approach: Exploring the field of Digital Humanities through Amazon’s Application Programming Interface. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 9(3), [222]. [details]
    • Borra, E., Weltevrede, E., Ciuccarelli, P., Kaltenbrunner, A., Laniado, D., Magni, G., ... Venturini, T. (2015). Societal Controversies in Wikipedia Articles. In CHI 2015 : Crossings: proceedings of the 33rd annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : April 18-23, 2015, Seoul, Republic of Korea (pp. 193-196). New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. [details]



    • Rogers, R., Weltevrede, E., Borra, E., & Niederer, S. (2013). National Web Studies: The Case of Iran Online. In J. Hartley, J. Burgess, & A. Bruns (Eds.), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (pp. 142-166). Oxford: Blackwell. [details]
    • Weber, I., Garimella, V. R. K., & Borra, E. (2013). Inferring audience partisanship for YouTube videos. In D. Schwabe (Ed.), Proceedings of the 22nd international conference on World Wide Web companion (pp. 43-44). Geneva: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. [details]


    • Borra, E., & Weber, I. (2012). Political insights: exploring partisanship in Web search queries. First Monday, 17(7). [details]
    • Poell, T., & Borra, E. (2012). Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr as platforms of alternative journalism: the social media account of the 2010 Toronto G20 protests. Journalism, 13(6), 695-713. [details]
    • Weber, I., Garimella, V. R. K., & Borra, E. (2012). Mining Web Query Logs to Analyze Political Issues. In N. Contractor, & B. Uzzi (Eds.), WebSci '12: proceedings of the 4th annual ACM Web Science Conference, 2012: Evanston, IL, USA (pp. 330-339). New York: ACM. [details]


    • Borra, E., Laniado, D., Weltevrede, E., Mauri, M., Magni, G., Venturini, T., Ciuccarelli, P., Rogers, R., & Kaltenbrunner, A. (2015). A Platform for Visually Exploring the Development of Wikipedia Articles. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Web and Social Media: ICWSM 2015: University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, May 26-29, 2015 (pp. 711-712). AAAI Press. [details]


    • Borra, E., Weltevrede, E., Ciuccarelli, P., Kaltenbrunner, A., Laniado, D., Magni, G., ... Venturini, T. (2014). Contropedia - the analysis and visualization of controversies in Wikipedia articles. In OPENSYM: proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Open Collaboration: August 27-29, 2014, Berlin, Germany [G5] New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. [details]
    • Sánchez Querubín, N. (Author), Venturini, T. (Author), Meunier, A. (Author), Munk, A. K. (Author), Borra, E. K. (Author), Rieder, B. (Author), Mauri, M. (Author), Azzi, M. (Author), Rogers, R. A. (Author), & Bounegru, L. (Author). (2014). Climaps: A Global Issue Atlas of Climate Change Adaptation. Web publication/site


    • Baetens, T., Jütten, T., Maessen, J., Borra, E., & Rogers, R. (2013). De Uitzondering op de Regel: Over Ambtenaren in de Openbaarheid. Den Haag: Emma Onderzoek. [details]


    • Peeters, S. C. J., Rieder, B., & Borra, E. K. (2021). Making Tools for Social Media Research: Principles and (Future) Challenges. Abstract from FOSDEM '21.


    Talk / presentation

    • Poell, T. (speaker) & Borra, E. (speaker) (14-5-2011). The Social Media Protest Environment, MIT7: Unstable Platforms, Boston, US.
    • Poell, T. (invited speaker) & Borra, E. (invited speaker) (13-5-2011). The Social Media Protest Environment: Constructing the Collective Now, Platform Politics - A Multidisciplinary Conference, Cambridge, Great Britain.


    • Borra, E. (2023). Object-activity: Repurposing the dual nature of web data for digital research. [Thesis, fully internal, Universiteit van Amsterdam]. [details]
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  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities