Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (DERP)
DERP is an alliance of platforms supporting the academic exploration of communities online for the betterment of the internet at large. Launched in 2014, the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (DERP) is a joint initiative by an alliance of community websites to promote open, publicly accessible, and ethical academic inquiry into the vibrant social dynamics of the web. DERP seeks to solve two problems in the academic research space: a) it is difficult for academic researchers to easily obtain data for their work beyond the confines of the largest social media platforms. DERP is a single point of contact for researchers to get in touch with relevant team members across a range of different community sites. We envision that this will lower the friction to investigating these sites in more depth, and broaden the scope of research happening within the academic community; and b) it remains difficult to conduct good cross-platform analyses in academic research. By bringing a number community of sites together under a single cooperative effort, we intend to lower the friction of doing so, as well as better enable the sites themselves to coordinate with one another on supporting researchers. DERP focuses on providing public data to academic researchers while facilitating an active online research community of Fellows. DERP will only support research that respects user privacy, responsibly uses data, and meets IRB approval. All research supported by DERP will be released openly and made publicly available. Partner platforms may also have additional guidelines and privacy commitments that apply to the research they support. This will be added to the tools section of Research Resources Subject Tracer™.