|| Data Set Hosting: Standards
Data set hosts must agree to the following basic
standards of data collection and data set management before agreeing to host a data set.
- Data collection procedures must be carefully documented, and actual data collection must
follow these procedures. Methods used in the prior data collection (where
documentation identifies those procedures) and coding rules for the prior data set must be
followed where possible to ensure cross-time reliability of the data. Theoretical
and substantive issues, including problems in coding particular cases, must be clearly
noted in the documentation.
- Units of analysis must be maintained with the current version of the data
set, or if changed to reflect better ways of structuring data sets, must
documented and old data converted to the new format. The final data
set structure in terms of unit of analysis (e.g. dyad-year, country-year,
war, etc.) and file type (e.g. Excel, Access, or Stata files) will be determined
by COWto ensure consistency with other data sets and common uses of the
- New variables will only be made available in new versions of data sets if coded for the
entire set of states and years.
- Data sources must be clearly identified. Documentation and/or the
data set should contain information allowing identification of the source
of each newly collected data point. Archival material (e.g. copies
of pages from source materials) will be given to the central COW office
- Each data set released will have a unique version number to maintain a chronological and
developmental record of each data set.