Assessing and Comparing Data Sources for Terrorism Research
Until recently, much of the research on terrorism was theoretical, based on small-n studies. The growing availability of large-n terrorism databases has provided great opportunities for terrorism researchers to identify cases and test and develop new hypotheses that are relevant to the field. But how good is the quality of the data in these databases? And how should the researcher go about choosing between competing databases? This chapter describes the need for a framework to evaluate the quality of terrorism data. Drawing on the concept of a “criterial framework” and “best practice” criterial standards developed to bridge qualitative/quantitative and small-n/large-n divides, the chapter also proposes a set of criteria to evaluate terrorism data and uses these criteria to evaluate and compare a series of quantitative terrorism events databases.
KeywordsTerrorist Event Terrorist Incident Suicide Attack Terrorism Data Global Terrorism
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