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CO:RE – Children Online: Research and Evidence

A European knowledge platform on digital technologies in the lives of children and young people

At LSE, we’re co-producing the CO:RE theory toolkit to share insights into the nature of children’s agency, vulnerability and well-being – and the nature of the digital world itself

Professor Sonia Livingstone


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How do children and young people in Europe use the internet? What empirical evidence is available on online use and what data is needed to inform different stakeholders?

LSE is delighted to be part of Children Online: Research and Evidence (CO:RE) – an EC-funded Coordination and Support Action (2020-22, overall budget € 1.7 million) with partners from nine European countries. CO:RE is led by the Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI). It will create a pan-European knowledge platform on the experiences of children and young people in digital communication spaces with the participation of international researchers, educators, policy makers and other key stakeholders.

The LSE team, led by Prof Sonia Livingstone, coordinates the theoretical dimension of the research on the impact of technological transformations on children and youth.

Project news

  • We launched our Theories toolkit: a free online resource for early career and experienced researchers and research users, the toolkit offers a range of tools and guidance on theory relating to children’s digital lives.
  • We collated a wide range of theory-relevant resources: blogs, vlogs, reading lists, and webinars.

CO:RE overview

  • CO:RE will collate the existing evidence on a broad range of topics related to the impact of technological transformations on children and youth, including their health, lifestyles, participation and digital citizenship, well-being, safety, and security;
  • CO:RE will contribute to contextualising empirical evidence by offering theoretical, methodological interpretations, and ethical reflections and guidelines;
  • CO:RE will include comprehensive, reliable and systematic research from European countries across diverse cultural, political, and media-related contexts;
  • CO:RE will help researchers and research organisations to identify important research gaps and to make optimal and informed use of existing research and data.

 More about CORE:

Our LSE activities 

The team at the LSE will work on theory, providing a series of mutually cross-fertilising mechanisms to coordinate and support the theoretical dimension of research. Identifying valuable theoretical concepts that offer multidisciplinary breadth and depth in understanding the long-term impact of digital media on children and youth, we will:

  • Identify the range of disciplinary perspectives relevant to understanding the technological transformations now reconfiguring the lives of children and young people, together with their main contributions and points of mutual difference;
  • Interrogate the specific theoretical and conceptual assumptions currently shaping research in this domain, mapping their diversity and weighing their significance;
  • Bring together contrasting disciplinary perspectives and debates on core topics or concepts in a process of fruitful deliberation, to identify synthetic solutions useful to researchers, practitioners and policy makers;
  • Pinpoint how new theories, ideas or disciplinary perspectives can refresh established lines of inquiry or challenge familiar assumptions, aiding innovation and advancement in the field;
  • Develop and promote a series of constructive and practical tools to support theoretical development, for use by researchers now and in the future.

Our methods and outputs

Over the next few years we will work on:

  • Consultations: intensive brainstorming to set the agenda for the action’s work, identifying the core concepts, critical challenges and valuable resources;
  • Multidisciplinary webinars: these will illuminate and debate contrasting approaches to key concepts or problems;
  • Online forums: on selected topics, we will hold online debates with a formally-appointed moderator and respondent, collating the discussions into a brief;
  •  A “theories and concepts” blog to provide regular reflections on theory, concepts, disciplinary assumptions and emerging new ideas;
  • Videos of selected researchers discussing their theoretical approach, rationale and challenges;
  • A theory toolkit: this will bring together in a handy resource for researchers the range of videos, blogs, webinars, annotated reading lists, glossary of concepts and definitions, concept maps, infographics, etc, in an online publicly-available resource for researchers.

Stay in touch 

Sonia LivingstoneSonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, OBE is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published 20 books including “The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age” and Parenting for a Digital Future (July 2020). She directs the projects “Children’s Data and Privacy Online,” “Global Kids Online” (with UNICEF) and “Parenting for a Digital Future”, and she is Deputy Director of the UKRI-funded “Nurture Network.” Since founding the 33 country EU Kids Online network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OECD and ITU.

Sonia tweets @Livingstone_S

mariya StoilovaMariya Stoilova is a Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her area of expertise is at the intersection of child rights and digital technology with a particular focus on the risks and opportunities of children's digital media use, data and privacy online, digital skills, and pathways to harm and well-being.

Mariya tweets @Mariya_Stoilova

If you have suggestions for theories or theorists we might include in our toolkit, feel free to get in touch: and

Sonia and Mariya blog about their research at:

Follow the CO:RE project:


CO:RE is funded under the programme “The mechanisms to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” (H2020-EU., topic on "The impact of technological transformations on children and youth" (DT-TRANSFORMATIONS-07-2019) and has a duration of three years.

Grant agreement ID: 871018

Families Europe Families Europe
"A digital future that families can trust" - Margrethe Vestager Video by Families Europe

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We want to create a platform which brings knowledge of children’s internet use together in a dynamic way and helps stakeholders in Europe, and maybe beyond, to make better-informed decisions about children’s internet use

Professor Uwe Hasebrink, Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI), Project coordinator