ChatDashboard: A Framework to collect, link, and process donated WhatsApp Chat Log Data


In this paper, we present ChatDashboard, a framework for collecting, linking, and processing donated WhatsApp chat log data. The framework consists of the WhatsR R package for parsing, anonymizing, and preprocessing donated WhatsApp chat logs, the ChatDashboard R Shiny web app for uploading, reviewing, and securely donating WhatsApp chat logs, and DashboardTester, an automated script for testing the correct setup of the framework by simulating participants. With ChatDashboard, researchers can set up their own data collections to gather transparently donated WhatsApp chat log data from consenting participants and link them to survey responses. It enables researchers to retrospectively collect highly granular data on interpersonal interactions and communication without building their own tools from scratch. We briefly discuss the advantages of donated WhatsApp chat log data for investigating social relationships and provide a detailed explanation of the ChatDashboard framework. Additionally, we provide a step-by-step guideline in the supplementary materials for researchers to set up their own data donation pipelines.

Behavior Research Methods