Britney Adams

So, we are requesting data to build a product.  We have/are requesting records in all 50 states.  In order to maintain that product for long-term, we will must continually request records for updated data.  The subject is tricky for some because the data requested is de-identified student level data, made available by FERPA. What are some best practices\recommendations\regulations surrounding this process. We want to strike a balance with asking for data again but not too often to get denied. Please advise.

Shawn Musgrave

You certainly need to strike a balance and keep in mind the time frame which will be useful for your project – that is, how often do you need to request data from the government agency/agencies of interest to be useful? 

Once you’ve requested particular data a few times, federal agencies ought to add your request to the “Frequently Requested” section of their FOIA Reading Rooms, and may even post there on a regular basis without waiting for additional requests to come in. Don’t count on this working for every agency, though. 

Hope this helps!

-Shawn, MuckRock

Britney Adams

Thank you! I appreciate any insight!