Research Opportunities

Available data

The Reporters’ Lab is eager to work with scholars and researchers interested in studying some of the document and data questions that commonly arise in investigative reporting.

We have collected a rich variety of real-life sample data that usually carry no restrictions — they are mainly public records acquired from government agencies. We can often put you in touch with the reporter who worked with the records and can find the stories informed by them.

Why would we do this? Because we want to advance methods in investigative and public affairs reporting and because we think our work creates interesting questions for interdisciplinary research in information sciences, computer science, social science, humanities and other fields.

These records will need substantial pre-processing before you can use them in your work. Please let us know what you need done: we’re going through them slowly, but might be able to prioritize your needs. We can also suggest ideas, documents and data for your students’ projects.

Students might also want to explore our challenge page for developers, which outlines some of the immediate needs of reporters that might be solved using existing technology.

Contact Managing Editor Tyler DukesĀ at 919.613.7346 or to discuss research ideas, data needs and possible collaborations.

The Reporters’ Lab is part of the computational journalism initiative at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. It was detailed in the October 2011 issue of the Communications of the CACM, “Computational Journalism,” by Sarah Cohen, James T. Hamilton and Fred Turner.