Blog Post

ProPublica launches Data Store, with prices ranging from free to $10k

Investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica is known for its data-driven reporting, and now the site is trying to find a new life (and revenue stream) for the data it uses in its stories. On Wednesday, ProPublica opened its Data Store, where it gives away or sells the data that its reporters use in their stories.

Here’s how it works:

“For raw, as-is datasets we receive from government sources, you’ll find a free download link that simply requires you agree to a simplified version of our Terms of Use. For datasets that are available as downloads from government websites, we’ve simply linked to the sites to ensure you can quickly get the most up-to-date data.

For datasets that are the result of significant expenditures of our time and effort, we’re charging a reasonable one-time fee: In most cases, it’s $200 for journalists and $2,000 for academic researchers. Those wanting to use data commercially should reach out to us to discuss pricing. If you’re unsure whether a premium dataset will suit your purposes, you can try a sample first. It’s a free download of a small sample of the data and a readme file explaining how to use it.”

There’s not too much for sale yet, but among the “wares” you can purchase are “Recovery Tracker Data” ($200 for journalists, $2,000 for academic researchers) and national data on payments to doctors by pharmaceutical companies (the most expensive item in the store at $1,000 for journalists and $10,000 for researchers). There are also three free datasets attained through Freedom of Information Act requests and four links to datasets at other sites.

ProPublica acknowledges this is an experiment, and invites readers to submit ideas for datasets the site should make available.