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Social Science One implements a new type of partnership between academic researchers and private industry to advance the goals of social science in understanding and solving society’s greatest challenges. The partnership enables academics to analyze the increasingly rich troves of information amassed by private industry in responsible and socially beneficial ways. It ensures the public maintains privacy while gaining societal value from scholarly research. And it enables firms to enlist the scientific community to improve their business and produce social good, while protecting their competitive positions.

Social Science One's inaugural project on “the effects of social media on democracy and elections” offers researchers privacy-preserving data access from Facebook; funding from seven nonprofit foundations from across the ideological spectrum; and a new type of peer pre-review service from Social Science One designed to speed scientific progress and shorten time-to-publication.

To ensure that the scientific and ethical peer-review processes conform to best academic practices, we have contracted with an independent foundation, the Social Science Research Council, which will pool and regrant all funding, and provide formal financial discretion and control. The SSRC will manage a peer review process to make recommendations on all proposals to the academics of Social Science One.

More detail on the two-part organizational structure that makes Social Science possible is explained in the paper A New Model for Industry-Academic Partnerships” by Gary King and Nathaniel Persily.  Social Science One is being incubated at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science, which is directed by Gary King.