The main research aims of the Oxford Internet Surveys are:
(1) to track the spread of the Internet in Britain as it penetrates different demographic groups. We attempt to be comprehensive, tracking Internet activities from politics to buying and selling to entertainment to communication. We track attitudes toward the Internet and toward technology in general as well as attitudes toward other media. National trends are reported in the OxIS Reports.
(2) to provide an evidence base for policy-makers, with particular emphasis on the digital divide, youth and the elderly. OxIS data are available to government departments and academic researchers. We present OxIS results to 10-20 audiences each year, including government departments, scholarly conferences, and the general public.
Several related projects at the OII make use of OxIS data:
(1) We are combining OxIS and census data to explore the the geography of digital inequality in cities and counties across Britain. This project is supported by the ESRC.
(2) About 5% of the British population once used the Internet but not longer use it. Why people become ex-users has been the subject of a special project on lapsed users funded by Nominet Trust.
(3) We are combining OxIS data with census and NHS data to examine how people use the Internet to improve their health. This forms part of the doctoral thesis work undertaken at the OII by Ulrike Rauer.
(4) We use OxIS data on privacy to contradict the conventional wisdom that young people don’t care about privacy. In fact they are more likely than older people to take action to protect their privacy.
(5) The biggest current trend is the explosion of mobile Internet use. We use OxIS data to show the demographics of mobile use, and how mobile use differs from fixed line use. This forms part of the doctoral thesis work undertaken at the OII by Darja Groselj.