The role of narratives in shaping people’s minds has become an important area of research and debate, particularly in recent years when entire societies have made choices that seem “rationally” counterintuitive. Combating disinformation is an essential component of preserving democracy and preventing political polarisation.

The Narrative Observatory combatting Disinformation in Europe Systemically (NODES), established in 2023 by the project coordinator Re-Imagine Europa and funded by the European Commission within the Horizon Europe Programme, was created to develop a methodological framework to analyse the narrative mechanisms that may contribute to disinformation. More specifically, NODES will monitor their origin, development and spread using both a quantitative and qualitative approach. This work is strengthened by involving leading experts across the target areas, as defined by the three initial case studies: COVID-19, climate change, and migration. Information collected in English, French, Polish and Spanish ensures the diversity of data sources, while a narratological approach provides valuable insights into the topology of network structures within the public sphere, providing evidence-based recommendations to support the fight against disinformation.

NODES has been designed to build a comprehensive and multidimensional observatory able to produce state-of-the-art research and bring together leading expertise from a diverse, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral consortium to develop and test a practical methodology that can be both replicable and transferable. It aims to develop and critically assess a novel large-scale mechanism to analyse and monitor the origin, development, and spread of narratives classified as “disinformation”, and provide quantitative and qualitative data on the narrative approach to disinformation, including the implementation of the Narrative Methodology, recommendations for future policy action and novel practices for practitioners in the field.

Therefore the NODES consortium includes seven different partners, bringing together lead researchers from key areas to ensure the representativeness of the project. If you are interested in disinformation and its intersection with narratives, you can subscribe to the NODES b bimonthly newsletter and be part of the community by filling out this form.