A replication and methodological critique of the study "Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network"

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKommentar/debatForskningfagfællebedømt

The development of cryptomarkets has gained increasing
attention from academics, including growing scientific literature on the
distribution of illegal goods using cryptomarkets. Dolliver's 2015
article "Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network: Silk Road 2, the
Sequel" addresses this theme by evaluating drug trafficking on one of the
most well-known cryptomarkets, Silk Road 2.0. The research on
cryptomarkets in general—particularly in Dolliver's article—poses a
number of new questions for methodologies. This commentary is structured
around a replication of Dolliver's original study. The replication study
is not based on Dolliver's original dataset, but on a second dataset
collected applying the same methodology. We have found that the results
produced by Dolliver differ greatly from our replicated study. While a
margin of error is to be expected, the inconsistencies we found are too
great to attribute to anything other than methodological issues. The
analysis and conclusions drawn from studies using these methods are
promising and insightful. However, based on the replication of Dolliver's
study, we suggest that researchers using these methodologies consider and
that datasets be made available for other researchers, and that
methodology and dataset metrics (e.g. number of downloaded pages, error
logs) are described thoroughly in the context of web-o-metrics and web
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Sider (fra-til)92-96
StatusUdgivet - 2016

ID: 156853596