Wouter van Atteveldt, Scott Althaus, Hartmut Wessler
The trouble with sharing your privates. Pursuing ethical open science and collaborative research across national jurisdictions using sensitive data

Political Communication, In Press: (publ. online before print)
ISSN: 1058-4609 (print), 1091-7675 (online)

Open science and effective collaboration both require the sharing of data between researchers. This is especially true for computational methods, as the technical complexity and heterogeneous data sources often require collaboration between researchers in different institutions and jurisdictions. Many data sources, however, cannot be shared openly because of copyright law and contracts such as terms of service. These regulations can be complex, sometimes untested in case law, and vary between countries and over time. This paper details our experiences in conducting international comparative research on very large collections of news items from multiple countries. We set out the main problems we have encountered and some short- term approaches we have used to mitigate some of these problems. We end with listing some additional long-term actions that will advance our research community’s ability to collaborate on computational research using sensitive data.