New ground-breaking research emerging from EmerGent

New ground-breaking research emerging from EmerGent

Six papers reporting the research outcomes from the EmerGent project that looks at social media use in emergencies.

We have published six new papers reporting the research outcomes from the EmerGent project.

EmerGent was a research project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration that run between 2014 and 2017. Together with nine European partners, we studied the positive and negative impact of social media in emergencies. The overall objective of EmerGent was to raise the security of citizens before, during and after emergencies and to strengthen the role of European companies supplying services and products related to EmerGent’s results.

The Tavistock Institute conducted with the help of partner organisations surveys of citizens in several European countries, surveys of emergency service staff as well as cases studies of emergency services to understand the current use of social media as well as its future potential. Findings from the research were not only analysed and written up for project reports but also several scientific publications were produced.

We were involved in six publications so far:

[1] Reuter, C., Kaufhold, M. A., Spielhofer, T., & Hahne, A. S. (2017). Social media in emergencies: A representative study on citizens’ perception in Germany. Proceedings of the ACM: Human Computer Interaction (PACM): Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1(2), 1-19.

This publication explores the barriers of using social media during an emergency in Germany in more detail and indicates that false rumour is the biggest threat. It further shows that only one out of six have downloaded a smartphone app that could help in an emergency.

[2] Reuter, C., & Spielhofer, T. (2017). Towards social resilience: A quantitative and qualitative survey on citizens’ perception of social media in emergencies in Europe.Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 121, 168-180.

Results from a survey of citizens across Europe shows that the many citizens have already used social media during emergencies and that they expect to see an increase in the future.

[3] Spielhofer, T., Greenlaw, R., Markham, D., & Hahne, A. (2016). Data mining Twitter during the UK floods: Investigating the potential use of social media in emergency management In Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management (ICT-DM), 2016 3rd International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

This conference paper describes several techniques to make Twitter data more usable to emergency services and to explore what information can be extracted from the tweets. This was done using the example of a severe flood in the UK in December 2015.

[4] Reuter, C., Ludwig, T., Kaufhold, M. A., & Spielhofer, T. (2016). Emergency services׳ attitudes towards social media: A quantitative and qualitative survey across Europe. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 95, 96-111.

This paper explores in more detail how emergency services integrate information from social media into their work and what implications the expected increase of social media use has on the organisation. 

[5] Reuter, C., Ludwig, T., Kaufhold, M. A., & Spielhofer, T. (2018). Studie: Wie sehen Mitarbeiter von Feuerwehr und THW den Einsatz sozialer Medien in Gefahrenlagen? Crisis Prevention – Fachmagazin Für Innere Sicherheit, Bevölkerungsschutz Und Katastrophenhilfe, vol. 1, pp. 64–66.

Results from the emergency service staff survey across 32 European countries show that emergency services use social media before, during and after an emergency for different purposes. 

[6] Reuter, C., Kaufhold, M. A., Spielhofer, T., & Hahne, A. S.. (2018). Soziale Medien und Apps in Notsituationen: Eine repräsentative Studie über die Wahrnehmung in Deutschland. BBK Bevölkerungsschutz, vol. 2, pp. 22–24.

This paper summarizes the findings from a representative survey of German citizens about their attitudes towards social media and the current and potential future use. For example, it evidences that around half of the citizens have used social media to search for/ share information during emergencies and that they expect emergency services to monitor social media. This publication is the short version of the first scientific publication.

For the full list of publications see http://www.fp7-emergent.eu/publications/ but there are more publications to come…

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