Announcing the Upworthy Research Archive

Help us advance human understanding by studying this massive dataset of headline A/B tests

Remember these headlines?

What The Archive Includes

Upworthy conducted its A/B tests on its own website, randomly varying different “packages” for a single story– a headline, subhead, social media summary, and thumbnail.

  • Subhead variations
  • Social media summary, where Upworthy used them
  • The number of impressions
  • The number of clicks
  • In some cases, the “winner” chosen by the company

Why This Archive Matters

We live in a society where companies and political campaigns test and influence the behavior of millions of people every day. Used wisely, these capabilities could advance human understanding and guide decisions for flourishing democracies. We also need to better understand this power to protect society from its misuses. Upworthy’s A/B tests can help us advance knowledge in many fields, including:

  • Organizational Behavior research on how firms learn over time (or not) through experimentation
  • Statistical advances in the analysis of experiments
  • Deeper questions about the knowledge from behavioral experiments and how useful they are at predicting future outcomes
  • Computer Science research on machine learning and cybersecurity

Calling All Researchers: How To Work With the Upworthy Research Archive

Through an agreement been Good and Cornell University, we have been granted complete permission to publish the dataset openly. We’re still reviewing and cleaning the dataset, which will only include aggregate results and will not include any identifiable information about individuals. We also expect to have general demographic information about the kind of people who were viewing Upworthy during a given study.

  • registered reports that are peer reviewed
  • cross-validating the pre-registered analyses on the full dataset
  • publishing the results
  • (after a time) publishing the full dataset

Citizen social science to improve digital life & hold tech accountable. Assistant Prof, Cornell. citizensandtech.org Prev: Princeton, MIT. Guatemalan-American