The retrieval and preparation of public data on software development calls for more than just technical skills. In
addition, care and judgement are needed to avoid disproportionate costs to the providers of data or unnecessary embarrassment to the participants tracked in the data. Taking the extraction of bug scenarios as a use case, we illustrate these concerns and discuss how they could be translated into social requirements that would help to make retrieval and preparation a sustainable exercise. In particular, we call for more efforts to establish institutional repositories of public data on software development and, besides, we suggest that reviewers could play a role in making sure that empirical research is performed in a way that does not bring the long-term relationship between software developers and researchers in jeopardy.