On April 9, 2018, we released a paper, A New Model for Industry-Academic Partnerships. By providing incentive-compatible ways to share data and expertise, the paper offers an organizational model to advance the goals of social science in understanding and ameliorating society’s greatest challenges, and to help those in industry and academia to pursue their individual goals. We also reported on an implementation of our idea -- in the area of “the effects of social media on elections and democracy” -- to offer academics extensive (privacy preserving) data from Facebook; research funding from seven ideologically and substantively diverse nonprofit foundations; no pre-publication approval requirements; peer review and financial administration by the SSRC; and final decisions made by a commission of senior scholars (a few of the press releases: Facebook, SSRC, Hewlett).
Since releasing our paper, we have made considerable progress in getting up and running what we now call “Social Science One: Building Industry-Academic Partnerships”. Our new website, http://SocialScience.one, premiers today with much information about how the project will work. We will continue to rollout information on this website first, with notifications of updates sent to our email list (join below), Facebook page (https://facebook.com/SocialScienceOne) and Twitter account (@SocSciOne). We plan regular Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
We are happy to report that the surprisingly large number of necessary legal agreements are signed, funding from the foundations has been committed, and we are hiring staff. We have made multiple visits to Facebook, had innumerable conversations with Facebook leadership and staff, have ordered several data sets to be prepared, and begun legal, privacy, security, and other reviews of each. We have begun to recruit academics for our various committees and peer review processes. We and SSRC have recruited the PERVADE group to help with ethics reviews. We are making arrangements to support the efforts of several major academic surveys (and conducting some new ones) by joining survey data with detailed data from Facebook.
A data set of URL shares enabling researchers to measure the volume and effects of misinformation on Facebook will be the first to be released through our standard Requests for Proposals (Facebook's foreshadowing of this plan). We are also working to release, probably later this Summer, an API of the Facebook Political Ads Archive, major surveys joined with detailed Facebook data for countries undertaking elections, as well as the CrowdTangle API. We look forward to the forthcoming RFP submissions.
Special thanks for the numerous expressions of support we’ve had since we began this effort. More news to come!
Co-Chairs, Social Science One