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  • Source: Press office University of Würzburg
Forschungsstelle RobotRecht

German Data Forum (RatSWD) - Web scraping in independent scientific research


Big data is no longer just a fashionable buzzword, but an established business practice. Various new business practices have been developed in recent years to open up data sources. For example, "web scraping" is the name for a technological procedure that is used to automatically harvest content from websites on the Internet.

The main case are search engines that extract a ton of data for a user to show him e.g. a list of available hotel rooms. But not only in the economy Web Scraping is highly appreciated. Also fields of scientific research can use this evaluation and analysis of big masses of data that are read automatically out of publicly available databases. This saves time and allows focussing staff on the analysis of the data.

The question is what legal limits Web Scraping has and what advantages - especially in the context of scientific research - have to be considered. Because of that reason the Forschungsstelle RobotRecht has been assigned with authoring an expert opinion of Web Scraping by the German Data Forum (RatSWD, Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten).

To the website: ratswd.de/en/