Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Center for Digital Information advocate a point of view on any issues?

No. The Center for Digital Information is purely an informational enterprise. The only position it takes is that too much important policy research and data do not speak the native interactive language of new media, posing a serious threat to their long-term impact and relevance. This problem exists across the political spectrum and spans all topic areas.

Does the Center do any research of its own?

No. The Center does not conduct primary research nor gather new data of its own. Its domain is helping translate existing and newly-released policy research and data from think tanks, government agencies and NGOs into an interactive, visual, dynamic form.

Where do the research and data come from?

The Center for Digital Information focuses on policy research and data from think tanks, government agencies and NGOs, a field lagging in its use of new interactive techniques. The Center will establish partnerships to work collaboratively on re-conceiving research products for interactive display.

The Center works with research organizations to develop joint "information" proposals: rigorous research paired with state-of-the-art interactive methods of communicating the findings. Under these proposals, the Center's research partners oversee and conduct the research portion.

Researchers have an interest in telling their own stories about their findings. Do the Center's efforts interfere with that ability?

No. The Center doesn't seek to change the story, only the language used to tell that story. The Center is not a research organization itself. It respects researchers' interest in conveying themselves what their findings mean. The Center's mission is only to assist them in putting the full array of interactive techniques to work to achieve that goal.

Does the Center charge fees to organizations?

No. The Center funds itself through direct support of foundations and joint proposals.

The Center will establish relationships directly with foundations to craft projects aimed at their information priorities. This may involve working with a select group of a foundation's research grantees, or developing a series of interactive products on a topic of interest to a funder.

CDI jointly proposes "information" grants along with research organizations: research paired with the development of state-of-the-art interactive methods for communicating the results. The Center prefers to proactively seek support along with researchers — as a like-minded organization with identical objectives and complementary skills — to engage in important research and communicate it to the widest possible audience using the best interactive methods.

CDI is not a fee-for-service organization. It engages in its activities based on the stipulations of its funding.

Will the Center's activity step on an organization's own release of its information?

No. While CDI will occasionally initiate its own projects based on timely research, the Center does not attempt to release those products on a particular deadline. The Center will never preempt an organization's release of its own research. In many cases, the Center works with bodies of archival or previously-released data, so its activity seeks to extend the lifespan of the information without the threat of stepping on toes. In the case of collaborative work with organizations, the Center will help those organizations integrate interactive products with their usual dissemination. The Center will not release competing presentations.

Is the Center a news organization?

No. The Center is not a news organization nor a news aggregator. However, it focuses on topics and sources of data that are high-profile and timely. The Center occasionally initiates interactive projects of its own based on what is topical and where there is potential to present data and research more effectively. But it does not cover breaking news nor undertake investigative journalism.

Why is the Center a nonprofit?

A nonprofit approach, with the support and substantial financial backing of philanthropic foundations and corporations, allows the Center to credibly engage in activities that a for-profit company normally cannot. The nature and scale of the problem require the creation of a like-minded, proactive and collaborative institution that understands the particular goals of the policy research community. The Center provides leadership, vision, collaboration, technical assistance and knowledge sharing with the support of the same foundations that fund this vital research.

How is the Center funded?

The Center is actively seeking funding from two major sources — philanthropic foundations and technology corporations. Startup funds have been provided by Center director Jeff Stanger.