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IMC Research Practices

This page is intended to collect views on the relationship between academic researchers and the Indymedia network. Some of this information may offer guidance to local IMCs in their interactions with researchers, while other entries may be of use to researchers pursuing the elusive Indymedia, a beast often sighted in the wild, but which tends to be a difficult subject in the laboratory. smile

Guidelines for Researchers

Indymedia is getting more and more enquiries from researchers. In the June 04 archives of the imc-uk-process list, this topic was discussed. Here are some draft "Guidelines for Researchers", formatted for pasting into an email. Please feel free to add links etc.

Dear Researcher,

Thank you for your enquiry.

We are interested in scholarly analysis about the Indymedia project, and look forward to seeing your contribution.

Indymedia receives many requests by researchers - Ph.D, M.A. and B.A students - as well as journalists, freelance writers and intellectuals. We have developed some guidelines, including some background information, and hope this will help you in pursuing your project.

Indymedia is a network of volunteers dedicated to social change. Our core interest is to run the Indymedia websites and promote the Indymedia network online and offline. Therefore we only participate in selected research projects.

Our decision depends on several factors. For example: Is the research likely to create debates and results that are interesting for us as individuals or collectives? Does the researcher make his/her motivation, methodology, theoretical framework and hypotheses transparent? Will results and theories be discussed with Indymedia, before publication? Openness for collaborative research models? Authorship - relationship between researchers and the objects of the research? Timing - are we busy with a major reporting project? And finally - does anyone feel like spending time on this project right now?

Please feel free to get in touch with us. We can be contacted at:


1. You are welcome to study the newswires, center columns, publicly archived email lists and any other resources you will find browsing any Indymedia website.

2. Unless stated otherwise, all Indymedia content is published under a copyleft, GFDL or creative commons licence. This means that you can (in general) copy, quote and distribute our content, as long as a reference (URL) is included.

We also consider it appropriate that publications about Indymedia be published under such an open licence.

3. We consider it appropriate that publications about an open publishing project are made accessible on the web. If you don't have the resources to do so, you are welcome to upload your work in pdf format or directly on to:

4. Since it is considered good practice within the academic community to feedback the results of any research to those who have been studied, we expect you to inform us about the results of your work. You can do so by providing a link to your work and, if it is in print, a reference, on We also expect you to inform the appropriate lists or contacts you have made about the completion of your work.

5. If your work is to be published in print, we would expect a minimum of 3 review copies prior to publication.


Many researchers are planning to collect data through questionnaires and/or qualitative interviews. It can be quite hard to get hold of Indymedia volunteers to be questioned or interviewed.

As a decentralised network of volunteers, Indymedia has no headquarters, no "one point of contact" for researchers, no press office, no spokes-people. No one person or group can speak for the entire Indymedia network. However, individual volunteers might decide to participate in your project as individuals. You don\xB4t need any collective permission to interview individuals who agree to participate. Local indymedia collectives (like IMC Bologna, IMC Germany) can reach a consensus to participate as a group. If you want to use Indymedia resources for your research (beyond studying our public content), you will need the consent of the group you are willing to collaborate with.

If you wish a more intensive collaboration with Indymedia volunteers, please send a description of your project. Apart from your contact and institutional details, this should include research design, methodology, theoretical framework, hypotheses and research questions, as well as planned proceedings with the results. It helps if you offer reasons why your project should be supported by indymedia.

More intensive collaboration includes, for example: extensive lurking or subscribing to lists, qualitative interviews with indymedia volunteers (via questionnaire, email, on the phone, f2f, chatrooms etc), participating in meetings (f2f, irc), action research, participant observation online and offline, using imc resources to find respondents for questionnaires etc. This list is not exhaustive!

Based on the information you give us, we will discuss your proposal and, if people are interested, get back to you for further arrangements and negotiations.


The archive of Indymedia mailing lists is a good starting point to find the appropriate contact:

...and a list or person...

Mailing List Discussions

Ionnek posted a note to imc-communication proposing guidelines for IMC research, and opening a discussion on the topic:

A number of informative comments on ionnek's note followed:

Research on Ahimsa:

Writing on the Ahimsa incident? Add your piece here: AhimsaAnalyticReflection

-- GuamaniaN - 16 Jul 2004

-- MmPp - 13 Oct 2004 added special Ahimsa paper collection point
Topic revision: r7 - 13 Sep 2008, BouD
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