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Elizabeth Chrun and Rachel Cichowski

This chapter explores data infrastructure innovation in the field of law and courts. In this chapter, we focus on our experience building a judicial decision database, the European Court of Human Rights Database (ECHRdb). The chapter is organized around four elements of the data project: preliminary research and theoretical innovation; data collection and coding; training and mentorship; and accessibility and usability. We conclude the chapter with a broad discussion of data visualization, accessibility, and the future of law and courts research. The core of scientific advancement rests on the ability of researchers to innovate on prior research leading to further scientific advancement. Data projects and platforms that privilege the principle of accessibility within and beyond the scientific community must be the standard in research on law and courts to advance this goal of innovation.