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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
Where the costs of a project are supported by a grant, we will make this clear in any resulting publication and related research outputs.
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
An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States
Report – Legal Loopholes and Data for Dollars: How Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies Are Buying Your Data from Brokers
Report – Online and Observed: Student Privacy Implications of School-Issued Devices and Student Activity Monitoring Software
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.“
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.
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.”