Building Better Datasets: Seven Recommendations for Responsible Design from Dataset Creators
Will Orr & Kate Crawford

The increasing demand for high-quality datasets in machine learning has raised concerns about the ethical and responsible creation of these datasets. Dataset creators play a crucial role in developing responsible practices, yet their perspectives and expertise have not yet been highlighted in the current literature. In this paper, we bridge this gap by presenting insights from a qualitative study that included interviewing 18 leading dataset creators about the current state of the field. We shed light on the challenges and considerations faced by dataset creators, and our findings underscore the potential for deeper collaboration, knowledge sharing, and collective development. Through a close analysis of their perspectives, we share seven central recommendations for improving responsible dataset creation, including issues such as data quality, documentation, privacy and consent, and how to mitigate potential harms from unintended use cases. By fostering critical reflection and sharing the experiences of dataset creators, we aim to promote responsible dataset creation practices and develop a nuanced understanding of this crucial but often undervalued aspect of machine learning research.