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Presented at IUI 2016. The MovieLens 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.