The Commons project aims to create a tool that tracks the responsiveness of federal agencies to public comments on regulations and provides journalists with a comprehensive database of the comments. Using data scraped from regulations.gov, the tool will track accountability metrics, analyze regulations with over 1,000 comments in the last three years, and will leverage large language models to identify significant trends. Journalists can gain insights into the comment process, such as repeating arguments, identical comments, and groups responsible for the majority of comments. The tool will also feature an interactive interface that is easily accessible and searchable using custom queries, increasing equity and transparency in the regulatory process.
Jana Cholakovska, June Kim, Laura Bejder Jensen, and Nate Rosenfield, `23 MS, Columbia Journalism School