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El Profesional de la Información

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Institución detectada Período Navegá Descargá Solicitá
No detectada desde feb. 2000 / hasta dic. 2023 EBSCOHost


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Technology and democracy: the who and how in decision-making. The cases of Estonia and Catalonia

Rosa BorgeORCID; Joaquim BruguéORCID; David Duenas-CidORCID

<jats:p>This paper focusses on the use of technology to improve democracy, comparing the cases of Estonia and Catalonia. Both examples are closely related in their use of technology to further democratize the decision-making processes, but have opposite starting points. Estonia’s internet voting system is an offshoot of the comprehensive e-governance system developed by the Estonian government. It is meant to make it more convenient for people to vote and, thus, easier for them to take part in elections. In Catalonia, the online participation system Decidim, initially set up in the city of Barcelona, represents a bottom-up project that emerged from the 15 May protests and aims to make the representative democratic system more direct and participatory. In our comparison we approach both paradigmatic cases from a theoretical reflection on the ideal types of democracy in relation to how decisions are made and by whom. Both projects have evolved and integrated new features that draw them together. First, internet voting is able to reach wider portions of society and digitally transform the Public Administration. Second, online participation platforms increase the potential for collecting citizens’ proposals and enriching discussions. These features make them more like a mixed model which, in the current model of representative democracy, creates spaces for a more direct and deliberative democracy.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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Astroturfing as a strategy for manipulating public opinion on Twitter during the pandemic in Spain

Sergio Arce-GarcíaORCID; Elías Said-HungORCID; Daría MottarealeORCID

<jats:p>This work aims to establish whether astroturfing was used during the Covid-19 pandemic to manipulate Spanish public opinion through Twitter. This study analyzes tweets published in Spanish and geolocated in the Philippines, and its first objective is to determine the existence of an organized network that directs its messages mainly towards Spain. To determine the non-existence of a random network, a preliminary collection of 1,496,596 tweets was carried out. After determining its 14 main clusters, 280 users with a medium-low profile of participation and micro- and nano-influencer traits were randomly selected and followed for 103 days, for a total of 309,947 tweets. Network science, text mining, sentiment and emotion, and bot probability analyses were performed using Gephi and R. Their network structure suggests an ultra-small-world phenomenon, which would determine the existence of a possible organized network that tries not to be easily identifiable. The data analyzed confirm a digital communication scenario in which astroturfing is used as a strategy aimed at manipulating public opinion through non-influencers (cybertroops). These users create and disseminate content with proximity and closeness to different groups of public opinion, mixing topics of general interest with disinformation or polarized content.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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Communication and crisis in the public space: Dissolution and uncertainty

Dolors Palau-SampioORCID; Guillermo López-GarcíaORCID

<jats:p>The evolution from a public space such as the one defined throughout the twentieth century –characterised by unidirectionality and political and media intermediation– towards a digital scenario –with multiple actors and multi-directional messages– has not resolved the problems that existed beforehand, and has also generated others. This public space crisis has been aggravated by the fragmentation of audiences, often absorbed into their own echo chamber, and by the dispersion and jumble of voices that are an impediment to any possibility of unravelling the terms of public debate. Faced with enormous challenges such as disinformation, the conventional media, who have traditionally held the responsibility of providing quality information, address these issues from a position of extreme vulnerability, due to the disintegration of the former economic model and social credibility. In a context of uncertainty, crisis, and fragmented public spheres, and there being no alternatives that can guarantee distinct dialogue, the initiation of a social debate that prioritises quality of information is essential.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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Injecting disinformation into public space: pseudo-media and reality-altering narratives

Dolors Palau-SampioORCID; Adolfo CarrataláORCID

<jats:p>This paper analyses the context of disinformation in Spain from the perspective of the pseudo-media (i.e., websites that mimic conventional media to offer partisan content based on alternative facts). Using a quantitative (N = 1,143) and qualitative (n = 396) methodology, this research analyses publications from eight Spanish pseudo-media that reach more than 4 million unique users. Results reveal an interest in three topics: vaccination, restrictions and speculation about Covid-19, national politics –focused on criticism against government– and topics related to human rights –mainly LGBTI, gender, immigration– with a total of 58.1% of the content published in four sections (International, Spain, Society, and Economy). The study reveals a growing trend towards polarisation and the use of clickbait techniques in four out of ten headlines. The Internet and social media are the most common sources quoted, while a third of the items lack sources or correspond to opinion pieces. Minorities and vulnerable groups are framed as a social threat, and the presentation of the coalition government as a danger to Spain that must be put to an end, which makes the discourse of these websites in tune with the ideology of the far right wing.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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YouTube como herramienta para el aprendizaje informal

Pilar Colás-BravoORCID; Iván Quintero-RodríguezORCID

<jats:p>Social networks are digital media platforms that are frequently used by most of the population. This popularity has facilitated their use in many areas such as learning. This is the case of YouTube, one of the social networks that is most widely used for this purpose. The aim of this study is to enable an evaluation of YouTube’s characteristics as a means of informal learning according to the variables of gender, education, and age. This quantitative study includes descriptive and inferential analyses. Data collection was carried out by means of an ad hoc questionnaire that includes instrumental and pedagogical dimensions. The data were obtained through Google Forms. The sample is made up of 504 people aged 14–60 years from Andalusia (Spain). The results reveal a high evaluation of YouTube as an informal educational resource by the study population in both dimensions observed. Various aspects of both dimensions were shown to be relevant, in particular instrumental aspects such as rapid learning and the adaptation of learning to desired times and spaces, as well as pedagogical aspects such as the use of mobile devices as learning mediators (mlearning) and the personalization of learning through the choice of instructor and the exploration of different ways to learn. The inferential analysis reveals statistically significant differences according to gender in the evaluation of existing thematic channels on YouTube, and in the training items linked to the practicality of learning. Age was the variable with the greatest influence, showing differences in many of the items evaluated. Resumen Las redes sociales son medios digitales utilizados con frecuencia por la gran mayoría de la población. Su popularidad ha facilitado su uso en múltiples áreas como el aprendizaje. Tal es el caso de YouTube, una de las redes sociales más empleadas para ello. Esta investigación tiene como objetivo descubrir las valoraciones de las características de YouTube como medio de aprendizaje informal atendiendo a las variables: género, formación y edad. Se trata de un estudio cuantitativo que incluye análisis descriptivos e inferenciales. La recogida de datos se lleva a cabo mediante un cuestionario elaborado ad hoc que incluye dos dimensiones: instrumental y pedagógica. Los datos se obtienen a través de Google Forms. La muestra se compone de 504 personas de 14 a 60 años pertenecientes a Andalucía (España). Los resultados muestran una alta valoración de las características de YouTube como recurso educativo informal por parte de la población estudio de ambas dimensiones observadas. Destacan aspectos instrumentales como el aprendizaje rápido y la adaptación del aprendizaje a tiempos y espacios deseados, y aspectos pedagógicos como el uso de dispositivos móviles como mediadores del aprendizaje (mlearning), su personalización mediante la elección del instructor y la exploración de diversas formas. El análisis inferencial arroja diferencias estadísticamente significativas en función del género en la valoración de los canales temáticos existentes en YouTube, y la formación en items ligados a la practicidad del aprendizaje. La edad resultó la variable con mayor influencia, presentando diferencias en la mayoría de los elementos evaluados.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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Comunicación mediática y social en el entorno de crisis, polarización e inconformismo colombiano

Andrés Barrios-RubioORCID; Maria Gutiérrez-GarcíaORCID

<jats:p>The communication industry in Colombia has promoted over the last decade a process of transformation and design of new proposals in both traditional media and digital natives, a range of operational strategies to distribute textual, sound, and visual formats through the social networks, adapting the content to the particularities and attributes of each one of them. The irruption of the implementation of the peace accords, the pandemic and citizen nonconformity taken to the streets have served to verify the real dimension of this reconfiguration, as well as its effectiveness in terms of credibility and scope in the face of an unprecedented scenario that has transformed the social and cultural interaction of citizens through technology. This research focuses on the response of Colombian journalistic agents to the demand for information during the period 2019, 2020 and 2021, from a mixed quantitative-descriptive methodology that allows identifying, quantifying, and assessing the relationship between newspapers, radio stations and television channels with the new platforms. The corpus of the study is made up of the publications on social networks of the Colombian media with the greatest circulation according to the Colombian Association for Media Research: two newspapers (El tiempo and El espectador), five radio stations (Caracol radio, W radio, Blu radio, RCN radio and La FM) and the news from the two television networks with the highest audience (Noticias Caracol and Noticias RCN). The results of the study show a reinforcement of the brand of the journalistic company as a reference for information and credibility, however, the current situation has not served to legitimize the role of journalists in social networks and has underlined the fragility of a media ecosystem highly exposed to polarization, manipulation, and mistrust. Resumen La industria de la comunicación en Colombia ha impulsado a lo largo de la última década un proceso de transformación y diseño de nuevas propuestas tanto en medios tradicionales como en nativos digitales, gama de estrategias operativas para distribuir formatos textuales, sonoros y visuales a través de las redes sociales, adaptando los contenidos a las particularidades y atributos de cada una de ellas. La irrupción de la implementación de los acuerdos de paz, la pandemia y el inconformismo ciudadano llevado a las calles han servido para constatar la dimensión real de esa reconfiguración, así como su efectividad en términos de credibilidad y alcance ante un escenario inédito que ha transformado la interacción social y cultural de los ciudadanos a través de la tecnología. Esta investigación centra su atención en la respuesta de los agentes periodísticos colombianos a la demanda de información durante el periodo 2019, 2020 y 2021, desde una metodología mixta cuantitativo-descriptiva que permite identificar, cuantificar y valorar la relación entre periódicos, emisoras de radio y canales de televisión con las nuevas plataformas. El corpus del estudio está compuesto por las publicaciones en redes sociales de los medios colombianos con mayor difusión según la Asociación Colombiana de Investigación de Medios: dos periódicos (El tiempo y El espectador), cinco cadenas de radio (Caracol radio, W radio, Blu radio, RCN radio y La FM) y los informativos de las dos cadenas televisivas de mayor audiencia (Noticias Caracol y Noticias RCN). Los resultados del estudio evidencian un refuerzo de la marca de la empresa periodística como referente de información y credibilidad, no obstante, la coyuntura del momento no ha servido para legitimar el papel de los periodistas en las redes sociales, y ha subrayado la fragilidad de un ecosistema mediático muy expuesto a la polarización, la manipulación y la desconfianza.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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How do legacy and digital media curate coronavirus content. An assessment of newsletters from the USA and four European countries

Javier GuallarORCID; Pere FranchORCID; Juan-José Boté-VericadORCID; Laura AntonORCID

<jats:p>This study focuses on the curation of newsletters specialized in Covid-19 news from the mass media of France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the USA. The newsletters of 21 media outlets –15 traditional and six digital natives– were studied during the peaks of the pandemic in April and November 2020. The study follows an evaluative method of curation quality, based on the analysis of the following parameters: number of curated contents, time range, origin, sources –according to organization type and morphology–, authorship, sense-making techniques, and hyperlink informational function. The results identify the main characteristics of news curation in these newsletters and their differences from general newsletters, as well as the sources used, and also make it possible to establish curation quality standings and to identify differences between countries and among legacy and pure digital news outlets.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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The (in)visibility of women in the press specializing in literature: an analysis of the presence of women writers in Spanish cultural supplements

Manuel García-BorregoORCID; Bernardo Gómez-CalderónORCID; Juan García-CardonaORCID

<jats:p>This paper aims to dissect the presence of female writers in the main four cultural supplements of Spanish reference press: Babelia (El país), Cultura|s (La vanguardia), El cultural (El mundo) and ABC cultural (ABC). For this, we analyzed the “books of the year” recommended between 2010 and 2021 (n = 1,286), as well as the juries in charge of elaborating these ranks. The results show the subsidiary role reserved for women in this sphere of cultural informtion: they barely author 25.3% of the selected books, although some degree is progress is observed in the historical series, after going from 4.8% in 2011 to 37.8% in 2020. The increase in the presence of women in the juries has contributed to this phenomenon –the correlation between ratio of women in both lists being statiscally significant (rs = 0.647, p &lt; 0.001)–, together with the commitment of supplement such as Babelia and Cultura|s to literature written by women. On the contrary, there still seem to be pockets of exclusion in El cultural and ABC cultural, which reduce the visibility of work of female writers in Spain. According to our findings, women authors stand out for their youth (they are between 8 and 20 years younger than men, depending on the indicator), cosmopolitism (there are more foreign female writers, especially American, than Spanish) and origin (mainly, Madrid and Barcelona). This article evinces the collective imaginary, settled for centuries, by which literature was considered a men’s affair, and reflects on the role of cultural journalism and its prescriptive function when it comes to breaking down gender stereotype –a task that, in view of the data provided in this paper, is still far from been completed.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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Legal and criminal prosecution of disinformation in Spain in the context of the European Union

Carlos Espaliú-BerdudORCID

<jats:p>Disinformation poses a very important and growing risk to our society, either alone or in association with other hybrid threats, which is being addressed at both the international and European Union (EU) as well as national level. Within the EU, a multidisciplinary and cooperative approach has been advocated between all the actors involved, in contrast to the strong regulatory perspective traditionally adopted in the history of European integration within the EU framework. For this reason, together with the inherent limitations imposed by the nature of the right to freedom of expression and information on any possible administrative censorship or criminal punishment, Spain has adopted only one recent regulation (Decree PCM/1030/2020) to establish the Spanish procedure to combat disinformation as required by European directive. Moreover, although fake news cannot be prosecuted directly in Spain outside the scope of crimes against the market and consumers, fake news can include very different types of criminal offence depending on the content and the intention with which it is disseminated. We illustrate these possibilities through some recent judicial decisions on this matter and declarations by the Office of the Attorney-General. It remains to be seen whether this soft approach to combating disinformation will be sufficient to combat this new plague on our contemporary society effectively.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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WhatsApp and audio misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic

Gustavo CardosoORCID; Rita SepúlvedaORCID; Inês NarcisoORCID

<jats:p>Given user choices and the commercial offerings of internet providers, WhatsApp has increasingly become established as a new standard for communication by audio, image, and text. This paper explores the role of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic by using content disseminated through WhatsApp, thereby making three main contributions: a discussion about the potential shift toward nontextual and nonvisual forms of misinformation; the new social role of audio, namely related to the critique of policies and political actors during the early stage of the Covid-19 pandemic; and the questioning of the First Draft News disinformation conceptual model by proposing a complementary approach that focuses only on factuality. Conclusions were drawn after conducting a content analysis of 988 units of Covid-19-related audio files, images, videos, and texts shared via WhatsApp during the early stage of the pandemic. A typology was identified to address distinct claims that focus on five different topics (society, policy and politics, health science, pandemic, and other), as well as audio messaging trending as a novel format for spreading misinformation. The results help us to contextualize and discuss a potential shift toward nontextual and nonvisual forms of misinformation, reflecting the increasing adoption of the audio format among WhatsApp users and making WhatsApp a fertile environment for the circulation and dissemination of misinformation regarding Covid-19-related themes. In a society characterized by the rapid consumption of information, the idea that content must have a degree of falsehood to mislead is an indicator of the distance between theoretical models and social reality. This indicator is important to identify true content as potential misinformation on the basis of its factuality.</jats:p>

Palabras clave: Library and Information Sciences; Information Systems; General Earth and Planetary Sciences; General Environmental Science.

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