Logo for CDT Research's work – a black CDT logo, with an orange-to-purple gradient to the left.

CDT’s Research team conducts and supports original, objective research to inform current policy debates. The team examines novel questions that can give context to policy conversations – and builds bridges between researchers and policymakers, to support evidence-based policymaking.

CDT’s Research team works closely with CDT policy teams to identify research questions, but conducts independent and objective research to address these questions. The Research team is responsible for ensuring that CDT research outputs are of the highest standard of scholarship and quality.

A second objective is to create and maintain spaces that allow researchers (especially those in academia) and policymakers to engage with one another. We do this through the CDT Non-Resident Fellows program, as well as through trainings, academic publications, Hill briefings, workshops and other efforts.

Statement of Research Independence

CDT is committed to producing independent research of excellent quality and scholarship that is highly credible to all policy audiences and the public. In order to maintain this we will abide by the following:

  • 1.


    All our research is subject to strict quality assurance measures including internal and external peer review, and ethical guidelines (including in some cases IRB review).

  • 2.


    As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CDT receives funding from a variety of sources (see CDT’s financial reporting). However, we do not accept funding that can influence the research questions we pursue, how we conduct research, or the inferences we draw from our findings.

  • 3.


    CDT bases its policy positions, research findings, and conclusions on data from a broad range of sources. Sometimes, CDT researchers will speak with funders as a source of information, but views, input, and data from funders are not given any different weight over views, input, and data from non-funders. CDT makes all final decisions on its research outputs, conclusions, and recommendations independently.

  • 4.


    Our research is designed to inform CDT’s policy advocacy. CDT may take positions that sometimes are not congruent with those of our donors or partners.

  • 5.


    Where the costs of a project are supported by a grant, we will make this clear in any resulting publication and related research outputs.

  • 6.


    We will monitor our compliance to these guidelines on an on-going basis and review our procedures annually, making changes to our procedures as necessary.

CDT Research Reports

Graphic for a CDT report, entitled "An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States." Illustration depicting a woman's leg in kitten heel stomping on malicious social media posts while casting a shadow of the U.S. capital building.

An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States

Illustration depicting a pixelated user cursor reaching through the browser screen to affect the platform algorithm. CDT Research report entitled "This is Transparency to Me: User Insights into Recommendation Algorithm Reporting."

“This is Transparency to Me:” User Insights into Recommendation Algorithm Reporting

CDT Research report, entitled "Learning to Share: Lessons on Data-Sharing from Beyond Social Media," and authored by Gabriel Nicholas and Dhanaraj Thakur. A collection of yellow-colored logos from popular social media platforms are arranged to form a sort of "key," unlocking a barrier between researchers and potential data-informed insights (illustrated as a series of data visualizations, with an orange-to-purple gradient).

Learning to Share: Lessons on Data-Sharing from Beyond Social Media

Cover image for CDT Research’s report, entitled "Shedding Light on Shadowbanning." A series of three panels showing a photo sharing service, with the middle panel showing a series of gray figures moving squares around (to demonstrate opaque actions taken on a user’s content).

Shedding Light on Shadowbanning

CDT Research report, entitled "Legal Loopholes and Data for Dollars: How Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies Are Buying Your Data from Brokers." Orange and black text on a distressed, photo-copied paper background. Light blue scan marks run across the top of the image.

Report – Legal Loopholes and Data for Dollars: How Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies Are Buying Your Data from Brokers

CDT's report, entitled "Online and Observed: Student Privacy Implications of School-Issued Devices and Student Activity Monitoring Software." White background with black text and blue artifacts. Three laptops, lined from left to right, have a variety of pop-ups and open windows on their screens, as well as purple-colored alerts to demonstrate the monitoring and flagging of student activity.

Report – Online and Observed: Student Privacy Implications of School-Issued Devices and Student Activity Monitoring Software

Cover of CDT's report, "Outside Looking In: Approaches to Content Moderation in End-to-End Encrypted Systems." A wireframe of the interaction of content on a platform being flagged by a content moderation system, and the ensuing steps.

Outside Looking In: Approaches to Content Moderation in End-to-End Encrypted Systems

A CDT Research report, entitled "Do You See What I See? Capabilities and Limits of Automated Multimedia Content Analysis".

Do You See What I See? Capabilities and Limits of Automated Multimedia Content Analysis

CDT's Research Report entitled "Facts and their Discontents: A Research Agenda for Disinformation, Race, and Gender."

Facts and their Discontents: A Research Agenda for Online Disinformation, Race, and Gender

CDT Research Datasets and Repositories

CDT’s research policy requires that we publicly share data, instruments, and other resources from our projects where possible to support researchers working on similar topics. These include:

A document source repository of all government contracts that we analyzed in the report “Legal Loopholes and Data for Dollars: How Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies Are Buying Your Data from Brokers.

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The complete survey data set and survey instrument used for the report on “Shedding Light on Shadowbanning.” Our nationally representative sample consisted of 1,205 social media users in the U.S. with the results weighted based on age, race, and gender.

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Final prototypes or different “interface-like” images, that simulate what a transparency report on a hypothetical social media platform may present. This was part of the research presented in the report “This is Transparency to Me: User Insights into Recommendation Algorithm Reporting.”

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The complete codebook and code for the content analysis platform used in the report “An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States.” The data set is available upon request.

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Recent Content

The CDT logo. A white "cdt" alongside "Center for Democracy & Technology" on a dark grey background.

Press Release: Women of Color Political Candidates in US Targeted with the Worst Online Abuse

The CDT logo. A light and dark grey "cdt" alongside "Center for Democracy & Technology" on a white background.

Women of Color Political Candidates in the US Endure Most Severe Online Abuse, Mis- and Disinformation

Graphic for a CDT report, entitled "An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States." Illustration depicting a woman's leg in kitten heel stomping on malicious social media posts while casting a shadow of the U.S. capital building.

An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States

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