An expert-curated global database of online newspaper articles on spiders and spider bites

Stefano Mammola*, Jagoba Malumbres-Olarte, Valeria Arabesky, Diego Alejandro Barrales-Alcalá, Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo, Marco Antonio Benamú, Tharina L. Bird, Maria Bogomolova, Pedro Cardoso, Maria Chatzaki, Ren Chung Cheng, Tien Ai Chu, Leticia M. Classen-Rodríguez, Iva Čupić, Naufal Urfi Dhiya’ulhaq, André Philippe Drapeau Picard, Hisham K. El-Hennawy, Mert Elverici, Caroline S. Fukushima, Zeana GanemEfrat Gavish-Regev, Naledi T. Gonnye, Axel Hacala, Charles R. Haddad, Thomas Hesselberg, Tammy Ai Tian Ho, Thanakorn Into, Marco Isaia, Dharmaraj Jayaraman, Nanguei Karuaera, Rajashree Khalap, Kiran Khalap, Dongyoung Kim, Tuuli Korhonen, Simona Kralj-Fišer, Heidi Land, Shou Wang Lin, Sarah Loboda, Elizabeth Lowe, Yael Lubin, Alejandro Martínez, Zingisile Mbo, Marija Miličić, Grace Mwende Kioko, Veronica Nanni, Yusoff Norma-Rashid, Daniel Nwankwo, Christina J. Painting, Aleck Pang, Paolo Pantini, Martina Pavlek, Richard Pearce, Booppa Petcharad, Julien Pétillon, Onjaherizo Christian Raberahona, Joni A. Saarinen, Laura Segura-Hernández, Lenka Sentenská, Gabriele Uhl, Leilani Walker, Charles M. Warui, Konrad Wiśniewski, Alireza Zamani, Catherine Scott, Angela Chuang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mass media plays an important role in the construction and circulation of risk perception associated with animals. Widely feared groups such as spiders frequently end up in the spotlight of traditional and social media. We compiled an expert-curated global database on the online newspaper coverage of human-spider encounters over the past ten years (2010–2020). This database includes information about the location of each human-spider encounter reported in the news article and a quantitative characterisation of the content—location, presence of photographs of spiders and bites, number and type of errors, consultation of experts, and a subjective assessment of sensationalism. In total, we collected 5348 unique news articles from 81 countries in 40 languages. The database refers to 211 identified and unidentified spider species and 2644 unique human-spider encounters (1121 bites and 147 as deadly bites). To facilitate data reuse, we explain the main caveats that need to be made when analysing this database and discuss research ideas and questions that can be explored with it.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109
JournalScientific data
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2022

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© 2022, The Author(s).


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