Data Driven Research Challenge

The 2024 MSOM Data-Driven Research Challenge

Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA (MSD) and the MSOM society are partnering to offer MSOM members access to MSD’s operational level data to encourage them to conduct data driven research.

In this competition, researchers will compete by building econometric models or data driven models using real data either to address some of the suggested questions below, or address questions of their own interest.


Eligibility Criteria: Who can enter?

  1. MSOM members are encouraged to participate.
  2. At least one author of the submitted paper must be an existing MSOM member in 2023/2024.
  3. Each MSOM member may enter the competition by submitting at most one paper.

Judging Criteria: What the judges will be looking for?

All entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

Criteria 1: Data-Driven.
Criteria 2: Potential Impact on Practice.
Criteria 3: Contribution to the Research Literature.
Criteria 4: Generalizability / Scalability.


May 1, 2024: Launch the competition.
February 28, 2025: Competition submissions deadline.
May/June 2025: Judges to review submissions and select finalists
June 27-29, 2025: Finalist present at the MSOM meeting summer of 2025, judges make/announce decisions.

* Finalist will be invited for a Fast Track submission to M&SOM. Fast Track means that the paper will go through 1 round of review before making a final decision.

Data Acquisition and Submission Guidelines

  1. You need to be an MSOM member in 2023/2024.
  2. You need to use your INFORMS Member ID and Password and click here to access the data
  3. The main MSD Data-Driven Research Challenge Paper is available at here.
  4. Before the deadline, you can submit the paper to Manuscript Central and select Data Driven Challenge as the Manuscript type.

***If you have any further questions, please email one of the co-chairs.

Committee Bio:

Important Notes

  1. The data set cannot be used or shared with anyone outside the MSOM community.
  2. Finalists whose papers do not get accepted to the M&SOM journal, can submit and publish their papers to other journals with an acknowledgment of this data challenge (i.e., Martagan et al. 2024).