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Dr E.K. (Erik) Borra

Faculty of Humanities
Departement Mediastudies

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

    Currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, I specialize in the intersecting fields of Artificial Intelligence, Platform Studies, and Journalism. I have a solid foundation in these areas, backed by an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Information Retrieval, a PhD evaluating the use of platform data and introducing new digital research tools in the humanities and social sciences, and my role as a key contributor to the MA Journalism program. My current research is titled "Tools of Interpretation: Generative AI as a Mediator in Everyday Epistemologies."

    For over a decade I served as the Technical Director at the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), one of Europe's leading schools for internet studies, where I was also a founding member. I thus had the opportunity to (help) design and implement of dozens of tools to gather, analyze and visualize web data, such as the Twitter Capture and Analysis Toolset (DMI-TCAT)ContropediaPolitical Search Trends, and the Lippmannian Device. I am currently working a lot with generative AI and Large Language Models, developing research tools such Prompt Compass.

    Collaboration and teamwork have always been key components of my academic journey. My involvement in multiple interdisciplinary projects and my contributions to numerous academic publications are evidence of my reliability and efficiency as a team player. As a researcher-programmer I've had the privilege of participating in diverse international and interdisciplinary research projects, which include the investigation of political search queries at Yahoo! Research Barcelona, examining internet censorship with, and contributing to Bruno Latour's projects on Mapping Controversies in Science and Politics (MACOSPOL) and Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science (EMAPS). I've also been instrumental in fostering international collaborations for drafting and securing grant proposals, such as for Contropedia and CAT4SMR. I am also a member of the Public Data Lab and the Data Science Centre.

    In terms of organizational skills and experience, I have demonstrated expertise across several areas: serving as the program director of the MA Journalism and Media program for five years, serving as the technical director of the Digital Methods Initiative for over a decade, managing and mentoring department programmers, and overseeing various BA and MA courses. I have supervised numerous MA theses and was the chair of the Board of Studies of the Media Studies MAs for approximately five years. I currently supervise a post-doc as part of the CAT4SMR grant and have recently secured a grant to hire a PhD.

    In terms of teaching, my MA program in Journalism courses primarily cover digital sources, data journalism, artificial intelligence, quantitative research methods, and thesis supervision. I also continue to teach Digital Research Methods for the MA in New Media and Digital Culture.

  • Research and Collaborations
    • Affiliate member of the University of Amsterdam's “Data Science Centre,” 2023 - current.
    • Data Capture and Analysis Tools for Social Media Research (CAT4SMR),” (with B. Rieder and S. Peeters), Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2019 – current.
    • Digital Methods Initiative (DMI),” Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 2007 – current.
    • DMI Twitter Capture and Analysis Toolset (DMI-TCAT),” (with E. den Tex and B. Rieder), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2012 – 2023.
    • 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 – 2018.
    • 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. Advance online publication.



    • 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). 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), Article 5. Advance online publication. [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), Article 222. [details]
    • Borra, E., Weltevrede, E., Ciuccarelli, P., Kaltenbrunner, A., Laniado, D., Magni, G., Mauri, M., Rogers, R., & 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). 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). 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). International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. [details]



    • Borra, E. K. (Author). (2023). Prompt Compass: A Tool for Navigating LLMs and Prompts for Computational Social Science and Digital Humanities Research. Software, Zenodo.


    • Borra, E. K. (Author), Weltevrede, E. J. T. (Author), Ciuccarelli, P. (Author), Kaltenbrunner, A. (Author), Laniado, D. (Author), Magni, G. (Author), Mauri, M. (Author), Rogers, R. A. (Author), & Venturini, T. (Author). (2015). Contropedia: Analysis and visualization of controversies within Wikipedia articles . Software
    • 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., Mauri, M., Rogers, R., & 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 Article G5 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 or website



    • 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]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities