The NICAR Database Library will be implementing some changes in the coming months: The first of these is a reduction in what we charge IRE members for most of our databases. Additionally, a handful of databases will be free to IRE members.
While the amount of work we put into each database remains the same, we also want to embolden the growing spirit of accessibility that exists promisingly in some government agencies, in places like Github where reporters share data and code, and on NICAR-L where all sorts of valuable information is shared on a daily basis. Our ultimate goal is getting good data in the hands of reporters who do strong investigative work, so we are taking steps to make our data more accessible.
If you’ve purchased data from us in the past, you’ll notice that we’ve also removed the tiered payment system. We realize that the size of a newsroom does not necessarily correlate with that newsroom’s dedication to important data-driven, investigative work. We want to be sure that freelancers, journalism educators and lone reporters in large newsrooms can afford our data even if they don’t have the financial backing of their organizations. We will also begin selling the majority of our data to people who are not IRE members, at a higher price point.
Finally, of the 40+ databases that NICAR has maintained over the years, we are evaluating to which datasets we can still add significant value. While the archive data will always be available, some of our long-standing databases (such as Hazardous Materials Incidents) are now easily accessible from the agency. In those cases we will send you directly to the source while still providing documentation that will help you get what you want from the data.
The NICAR Database Library is committed to being a resource to investigative journalists undertaking data-driven projects, a commitment that has driven our small outfit for 25 years. If you have suggestions for other ways that we can help, please let us know.
The NICAR Database Library