How Data Access Works

helloquence-DRAFT PROCESS

Researchers are invited to apply for access to data via the Request for Proposals Section under the Facebook Partnership section of the Social Science One website.




Eligibility & Conditions

  • Applications are welcome from individuals or teams of researchers with PI privileges at a college or university. Graduate students and other university-affiliated researchers may apply in collaboration with someone holding PI rights. 

  • Projects must be for academic research with results to be made public and, in particular, shall not be accepted if their goal is to aid in the election or defeat of certain candidates or parties or commercial activity.

  • Researchers will be required to sign a legal agreement describing the terms under which they may access confidential Facebook data. For a copy of this agreement, and a letter from Gary King and Nate Persily discussing it, see here


Review and Selection Process


Proposals will be reviewed by Social Science One, on the basis of the following:

  • Academic merit & feasibility: the intellectual significance of the proposed project, its capacity & likelihood to advance scholarship and/or scientific understanding, and ethical appropriateness

  • Likelihood of knowledge resulting from the project advancing social good.

  • Qualifications of the proposed team including expertise, skills, and knowledge to undertake the proposed project. 

  • Ethics and Privacy: Researchers must explain how they will meet or exceed standards for the ethical use of data, including the protection of individuals and their privacy, based on the ethical guidelines tailored to each dataset


The review process will take place in three parts:

  1. Standard academic peer review, double blinded, by two to four peer reviewers knowledgeable in their fields.  Peer reviewers will evaluate the merits of the proposal and also answer specific questions we have compiled for each dataset regarding the ethical appropriateness of the proposed research.

  2. A review by the Social Science One chairs, acting like editors at a scholarly journal. They will use input from the peer reviews, along with their knowledge as the trusted third party following the structure of this initiative, and make final substantive decisions about whether to grant access. Examples of the private knowledge the co-chairs have include ongoing litigation that would subject researchers addressing certain topics to legal discovery, or complex privacy constraints that would be violated in certain types of data.

  3. Finally, a review by Facebook, confined solely to express violations of law and endangerment of user privacy. Facebook will then provide legal agreements for signature, and onboard researchers and their teams.


Visit our RFP page for a list of active datasets.