The movielens datasets: History and context

F. Maxwell Harper, Joseph A. Konstan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2783 Scopus citations


TheMovieLens datasets are widely used in education, research, and industry. They are downloaded hundreds of thousands of times each year, reflecting their use in popular press programming books, traditional and online courses, and software. These datasets are a product of member activity in the MovieLens movie recommendation system, an active research platform that has hosted many experiments since its launch in 1997. This article documents the history of MovieLens and the MovieLens datasets. We include a discussion of lessons learned from running a long-standing, live research platform from the perspective of a research organization. We document best practices and limitations of using the MovieLens datasets in new research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 ACM.


  • Datasets
  • Movielens
  • Ratings
  • Recommendations


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