Mobile Communication

The access to digital information is becoming more free of spatial restrictions. For many citizens, mobile devices nowadays are the main gateway to news, health information or shopping. To a great extent, these mobile information consumption patterns on tablets, wearables, and smartphones determine important domains in public life. However, the impact of ubiquitous access, location-based services and small screens on citizens’ access, reception and processing of information is understudied. Furthermore, methodological challenges have prevented extensive insights into how citizens consume important societal information on their mobiles.

Ongoing projects

Smartphone usage in times of COVID-19

Digicomlab Researcher: Jakob Ohme

In a research project in cooperation with colleagues from Tilburg University and Ghent University, Jakob Ohme is investigating the smartphone use of citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak. A recently published report has looked into how smartphone use helps citizens to stay informed in times of crisis and bridge physical distancing by means of mobile communication. More information can be found here.

Information consumption patterns on mobile devices and its meaning for an informed citizenry

Digicomlab Researcher: Jakob Ohme
This research project investigates the frequency, quality, usage intention and attention to societally relevant information on mobile devices. To this end, it advances existing methodological approaches in mobile communication research (e.g. ESM, mobile eye tracking, log-data usage). Its core goal is to compare consumption patterns across devices and spatial conditions. Here, the project accounts for the variety of environments and locations that mobile communication is used in. It investigates how mobile access impacts information consumption on devices like smartphones and thereby the role of mobile information access for an informed citizenry.


  • Ohme, J., Araujo, T., de Vreese, C. H., & Piotrowski, J. T. (2020). Mobile data donations: Assessing self-report accuracy and sample biases with the iOS Screen Time function. Mobile Media & Communication, 21.
  • Ohme, J., Araujo, T., de Vreese, C.H., & Piotrowski J.T. (2020). Mobile data donations: Assessing self-report accuracy, sample biases and predictive validity of mobile news use. Paper presented at the 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference. Gold Coast, Australia. May 2020.
  • Ohme, J., Araujo, T., de Vreese, C.H., & Piotrowski J.T. (2020). How to use mobile data donations in an open science framework. Paper presented at the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Maslowska, E.,  Ohme, J., & Segijn, C. (2020). Mobile vs. Desktop: Assessing Exposure and Effects of Branded Social Media Content with Eye Tracking. Paper presented at the 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference. Gold Coast, Australia. May 2020
  • Baumgartner, S.E. & Sumter, S.R. (2020). Tracking smartphone use and sleep (Included in panel Open Science meets Digital Methods: Match Made In Heaven or Mutually Exclusive?). Paper presented at Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, 2020, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.