Mathieu O'Neil

Professor of Communication

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Peer production and digital commons; Information literacy and misinformation.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Mathieu is Professor of Communication in the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design and Honorary Associate Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University. His research interests lie at the intersection of political communication and sociology. Mathieu co-founded the Australian National University’s Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online networks, a world leader in big data analytics and computational social science. Most recently, he is developing heuristics to detect online echo chambers (Bots Building Bridges (3B): Theoretical, Empirical, and Technological Foundations for Systems that Monitor and Support Political Deliberation Online, Volkswagen Foundation, Artificial Intelligence and the Society of the Future, 2021-2024). In the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre, he has initiated multidisciplinary collaborations with UC researchers. With colleagues in the Faculty of Education, he is designing information literacy resources for schools (Co-developing a new approach to media literacy in the attention economy, ACT Education Directorate-UC Affiliated Schools Research Program, 2021-2022; Building information resilience: A collaborative project with ACT teacher-librarians, ACT Education Directorate-UC Affiliated Schools Research Program, 2024-2026).

Mathieu has played a key role in developing the field of peer production studies (the term ‘peer production’ describes free and open source software in the 1990s, Wikipedia in the 2000s, and Blockchain in the 2010s) by founding and editing the peer-reviewed Journal of Peer Production (2011-2021), by editing the Handbook of Peer Production (Wiley-Blackwell Handbooks in Communication and Media, 2021), and by founding an international think tank, the Digital Commons Policy Council, in 2021. He also leads an international team researching the economic and environmental sustainability of free and open source software (Mapping the co-production of digital infrastructure by peer projects and firms, Sloan and Ford Foundations, Critical Digital Infrastructure Fund, 2019-2021; DCPC: Pilot Research and Operational Costs, Ford Foundation, 2022-2024).

Mathieu's research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Social Networks, Information, Communication & Society, Réseaux, New Media and Society, the International Journal of Communication, and Organization Studies, amongst others. He previously held academic appointments at the Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3, the Australian National University and the Université Paris Sorbonne. He has also worked as a magazine editor and exhibition curator in Singapore, and as a researcher for the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Student Projects Available

Sustainability of digital commons; Diffusion of misinformation; Information literacy and information resilience.

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