The availability of numerous online databases offers new and tremendous opportunities for social science research. Furthermore, databases based on news reports often allow scholars to investigate issues otherwise hard to tackle, such as, for example, the impact and consequences of drone strikes. Crucial to the campaign against terrorism, official data on drone strikes are classified, but news reports permit a certain degree of independent scrutiny. The quality of such research may be improved if scholars can rely on two (or more) databases independently reporting on the same issue (a solution akin to ‘data triangulation’). Given these conditions, such databases should be as reliable and valid as possible. This paper aimed to discuss the ‘validity and reliability’ of two such databases, as well as open up a debate on the evaluation of the quality, reliability and validity of research data on ‘problematic’ topics that have recently become more accessible thanks to online sources.

Crystal Clear: Investigating Databases for Research, the Case of Drone Strikes

Giacomello Giampiero
Primo
;
2021

Abstract

The availability of numerous online databases offers new and tremendous opportunities for social science research. Furthermore, databases based on news reports often allow scholars to investigate issues otherwise hard to tackle, such as, for example, the impact and consequences of drone strikes. Crucial to the campaign against terrorism, official data on drone strikes are classified, but news reports permit a certain degree of independent scrutiny. The quality of such research may be improved if scholars can rely on two (or more) databases independently reporting on the same issue (a solution akin to ‘data triangulation’). Given these conditions, such databases should be as reliable and valid as possible. This paper aimed to discuss the ‘validity and reliability’ of two such databases, as well as open up a debate on the evaluation of the quality, reliability and validity of research data on ‘problematic’ topics that have recently become more accessible thanks to online sources.
Giacomello, Giampiero, Martinelli, Damiano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/839762
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