Access our Data

Data Access for Research

When its co-founders first developed Collaboratory, they did so with the aspiration that a national dataset could be supported and made available for use by academic researchers to study the nature of community engagement and partnerships. Ten years later, that vision has become a reality. 

Learn more about the theory of change that guided Collaboratory’s development. It is one of several papers used to support the use of Collaboratory for scholarly research and strategic administrative efforts, providing an overview of:

  •  the purposes for which Collaboratory was developed,
  • the research and theories that guided the development of its fields, features, and functions,
  • the institutional and national higher education context in which Collaboratory was initially created,
  • the scholarly process through which it was designed,
  • the current and future potential for Collaboratory to advance community and institutional priorities, as well as the field of community engagement scholarship and practice. 

Today, Collaboratory data represent the largest coordinated national dataset on community engagement and public service activities occurring between higher education and its surrounding communities. 45 institutions have tracked more than 6,200 published activities encompassing 13,000 community partner relationships, 2,200 course sections, and 1,000 research connections. 

The dataset includes descriptive characteristics (what, where, when, with whom, and to what end) of activities that are entered by faculty and staff or their representatives. It also provides a highly relational view of the focus areas addressed, populations served, on- and off-campus collaborators, connections to teaching and research, and location information, among other data points

On November 9, 2021, Collaboratory officially launched its newly available, publicly accessible administrative dataset containing over 3,000 community engagement and public service activities and relationships from across 40+ U.S. higher education institutions.

In collaboration with the Civic Learning, Engagement, and Action Data Sharing (CivicLEADS) archive, Collaboratory has made a completely de-identified, limited open dataset available to the general public.

Part of the University of Michigan’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), CivicLEADS provides infrastructure for researchers to share and access high-quality datasets which can be used to study civic education and involvement. The archive provides data from over 30 studies to users free of charge and seeks to reduce barriers to high-quality data for anyone interested in understanding civic education and engagement. 

Request Access to the Full Dataset

For scholars and practitioners who wish to access more detailed data from Collaboratory beyond what is openly available, we review individualized requests for data in collaboration with UNC Greensboro’s Institute for Community and Economic Engagement.

Our Data Sharing Initiative provides a framework for responsible data management and ensures proper handling of institutional data. We will continue to iterate on this process as we field requests.

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