Media Studies research culture


The domain of Media Studies is very broad and dynamic. It encompasses diverse theoretical approaches and research traditions. It examines media – film, television, radio, newspapers, magazines and all types of digital media, as well as fashion, design and photography – from different theoretical perspectives and with the help of a variety of methodologies. It works within a wide range of traditions and genres, for example journalism, documentary filmmaking, informative and educational approaches, as well as the broad field of fiction and entertainment.

Media Studies is closely allied to other areas of the humanities and social sciences, including visual culture, popular culture, history and political culture. It is by nature a highly interdisciplinary subject area. It combines various disciplinary approaches, drawn, for example, from literary theory, history, cultural history, philosophy and social sciences. It also engages actively with other interdisciplinary domains, for example cultural studies and digital humanities. The research culture in Media Studies displays strong similarities with these other domains. The research school RMeS is responsible (in part) for the PhD programmes, Research Master’s programmes, and communication in the domain.


Target groups

  • Media Studies is international in orientation; both its publications and its close international alliances make that clear. Dutch media researchers have an excellent international reputation. They are in demand as partners in international research projects and as speakers at international conferences.
  • Based on their prominent status in international research, media researchers also engage with the general public. They respond to interest in their research output by publishing books aimed at the general public, articles in journals, essays in edited volumes and blogs, and by participating in public debates. They also cooperate with national and international heritage institutions, increasingly within the context of digitalisation and digital heritage matters. This is also an important aspect of media historical research in the Netherlands.


Products and communication

  • Academic publications often take the form of articles in peer-reviewed international journals and peer-reviewed edited volumes. Other publications are books, edited volumes, and articles in national journals. The academic monograph is still a customary form. Supplementing these are hybrid publications that target both academic readers and broad groups of interested general readers.
  • English is the most common language in all forms of publication, the paramount aim being to reach an international academic readership. Publications in other European languages are also customary, mostly in Dutch, German, French, Spanish and Italian. Publication in other foreign languages is important in certain specialist areas that focus on a relevant national media culture.
  • Review processes are important in the context of national and international publications, often in the form of peer reviews or blind peer reviews, but also editorial reviews. That is true of articles in journals, essays in edited volumes and books.
  • International conferences, in many cases organised around a specific theme, are an important channel of domain-internal communication and often result in publications that highlight new subjects or theories within the subject area (or within a relevant segment) or that provide an overview of a specific status quaestionis.


Processes and strategies

  • Communication with professionals, but above all with broad groups of interested members of the public, is important. Researchers communicate by producing hybrid publications (including books), participating in public debates, disseminating knowledge on social media, writing articles in popular periodicals (e.g. weeklies) and literary media, and blogging.
  • The most common type of publication is the ‘single-authored publication’, especially in the case of books (monographs), which have a lengthier production time.


Domain-specific aspects of quality and relevance

Alongside academic publications in peer-reviewed (ranked) journals, monographs published by international academic publishers, and essays in edited volumes, media researchers publish hybrid books, participate in public debates, write blogs, publish articles in popular weeklies and media, and create video essays, podcasts, and virtual exhibitions.  


Relevance of indicators for products

The RMeS panel has authorised various publication channels for journals and books. No distinction is made between target groups owing to the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the domain. The multidisciplinary nature of this domain means that indicators authorised by other panels are also relevant. Link to lists


Relevance of quantitative indicators for use and marks of recognition

For now, bibliometric indicators such as citation analyses are not useful, even if based on Google Scholar. That is because many of the publication channels and publications in most languages other than English are not systematically indexed, if at all, and because reference practices are too diverse.