Call for participation: Researcher Access in the Digital Services Act (Deadline 16 January 2023)

We invite abstract submissions and expressions of interest for an international workshop on

Research Access in the Digital Services Act (DSA)
hosted by the University of Amsterdam
on 15 March 2023.

The DSA promises to give researchers a powerful new tool for the study of large platforms and search engines: data access requests. These access requests entitle researchers to large amounts of platform data related to topics such as fundamental rights, civic discourse, public health, and more. In this way, the DSA could offer an invaluable resource for science and scholarship in the platform society.

However, the DSA’s regulation of data access requests is not a model of clarity. Key questions are answered only the broadest terms, or not at all. Who, exactly, can submit data access applications, and to what data they are entitled? How must the data be disclosed? And what is the role of public authorities and platforms in these decisions? Researchers will play a crucial role in navigating these processes and shaping these norms.

The Institute for Information Law (IViR) and DSA Observatory are organizing an in-person workshop on the afternoon of 15 March 2023 at the University of Amsterdam to explore how these questions can and should be answered. The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of experts to fully tease out the implications and tensions of the DSA’s regulation of access to data held by large platforms and search engines, and enable participants to network and develop future collaborative projects.

In the workshop we will:

  • Provide an introduction to the DSA’s regulation of data access that is accessible to non-lawyers and empirical researchers.
  • Stress-test the DSA’s framework by developing our own mock-access requests on specific research topics, in order to identify opportunities and challenges for researchers to exercise their new rights.
  • Host a roundtable discussion on the DSA’s data access regime, and provide experts the opportunity to present their own research on this topic.

Participation is open to researchers from all career stages and disciplines. Besides legal scholars with an interest in the DSA and its data access provisions, we are also especially interested in connecting with empirical researchers in social media studies and adjacent disciplines.

If you would like to apply, please use this form.

The deadline for applying is 16 January 2023.

Please note: this event is accompanied by a tandem event, taking place the next day. The international workshop on Research Access to Digital Infrastructures (RADI) on Thursday 16 March will explore overarching issues in data access regulation across different legal domains and instruments. Participants are also encouraged to apply to this tandem event, and can do so by viewing its Call for Papers.

For further inquiries, please contact Paddy Leerssen at

This event is a collaboration between IViR and ICDS, and co-organised by the following projects: DSA Observatory, Digital Data Donation Infrastructure, and Information Law and the Digital Transformation of the University