This article surveys the history of bankruptcy data and identifies the BAPCPA provisions that bear directly on research. It concludes by examining how such studies will and should proceed. BAPCPA provides both opportunities and hazards to advance our understanding of bankruptcy. The development of comprehensive federal data offers the potential to dramatically increase the scope of knowledge about the bankruptcy system. The peril lies in the government conducting its research without the transparency and accountability necessary to convince private industry, academic scholars, and the general public of the integrity and usefulness of these data. Rather than eclipsing academic research, the federal government's bold new foray into empirical bankruptcy work challenges the scholarly community to engage with government and private industry to ensure collective improvement of bankruptcy knowledge. If these collaboration succeed, the result will be a new world of research that features more reliable impirical data and facilitates a better understanding of the bankruptcy system.

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