Metered data to measure behaviour
Metered data, also called “web log data”, “digital trace data”, “passive data”, “online behavioural data” or “web-tracking data” is obtained from a meter willingly installed or configured by a sample of participants on their devices (PCs, tablets and/or smartphones). A meter refers to a heterogeneous group of tracking technologies that allow sharing with the researchers, at least, information about the URLs of the web pages visited by the participants. Depending on the technology used, HTML, time or device information can also be collected.
Metered data has been considered as the best option to track individual’s online behaviour, since it can track the real behaviour in an unobtrusive way. However, different errors can affect metered data, most of them related to behaviours not being tracked. Below is a set of documents explaining how we have dealt with some of these problems, the way we selected the domain and subdomains to track and the list of them, and how we transformed all this information into individual level data and the final list of variables created.
Guidelines for selecting the lists of news media domains and subdomains to be tracked