The Pioneers of Social Research, 1996–2018 is a rich qualitative collection of life story interviews with over fifty pioneering academics, who are regarded as having played a significant role in developing the practices of social research across key disciplines. The project was directed by Paul Thompson, himself a pioneer of oral history in Europe. The interviewees are essentially British pioneers, all but six born within what was then the British Empire, but they worked worldwide in Europe, Africa, Australasia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. The collection includes full interview transcripts and detailed summaries, YouTube playlists, thematic highlights and associated teaching resources, all openly accessible through the UK Data Service. The following data paper provides an overview of Thompson’s data collection approach, the archiving and publishing of the data materials, and a discussion of the resources available. It also highlights opportunities of this unique research data for future use.
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Social and Economic History
R. C. Allen and R. W. Unger
The Allen-Unger Database contains price series for commodities from locations in Europe from the late Middle Ages to 1914 and also from cities in the Americas, the Middle East and the Far East. It is also possible to search for series by date range, location and commodity or any combination of the three. Data are reported in Excel spreadsheets with the files downloadable. The Database serves as a useful tool for various forms of research in economic history and in social history with the information presented in an easily accessible and flexible format. The data are available at three different sites, each with its own unique features and advantages.
Social and Behavioural Scienes
M. P. J. Ashby
The study of spatial and temporal crime patterns is important for both academic understanding of crime-generating processes and for policies aimed at reducing crime. However, studying crime and place is often made more difficult by restrictions on access to appropriate crime data. This means understanding of many spatio-temporal crime patterns are limited to data from a single geographic setting, and there are few attempts at replication. This article introduces the Crime Open Database (code), a database of 16 million offenses from 10 of the largest United States cities over 11 years and more than 60 offense types. Open crime data were obtained from each city, having been published in multiple incompatible formats. The data were processed to harmonize geographic co-ordinates, dates and times, offense categories and location types, as well as adding census and other geographic identifiers. The resulting database allows the wider study of spatio-temporal patterns of crime across multiple US cities, allowing greater understanding of variations in the relationships between crime and place across different settings, as well as facilitating replication of research.
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Stéphane Baciocchi, Laurent Beauguitte, Pierre Blavier and Nicolas Lambert
In the spring of 2016, France saw a major social movement, with strikes and demonstrations, and a new form of protest, the Nuit Debout. Following the Occupy Wall Street and Los Indignados models, open air assemblies started in Paris on March 31 and then spread throughout France and abroad. The dataset presented here provides the exhaustive list of Nuit Debout gatherings that took place in France in April 2016 and an estimation of their audience. The data was gathered by a small multidisciplinary team (geographers, historian and sociologist) who consulted three main sources: a wiki created by the Nuit Debout movement, Facebook pages and groups created by local assemblies, and the regional press. Combining these sources made it possible to identify 1300 assemblies that took place in 215 different locations. The dataset available online is provided with an R script that generates a dynamic map of the Nuit Debout diffusion.
Erik J. de Jager
The project, Chronicle of the Governors’ Association is a combined history and anthropological field research project investigating the sustainability of a so-called ‘Institution for Collective Action’ in The Netherlands. The co-operative association, known as the ‘Governor’s’ Association’ or ‘To Our Avail’, acts as a sickness fund for male entrepreneurs, and is an expression of such an institution. Research into the functionality of this particular association was undertaken by the author during the years 2015–2016, with support from the University of Utrecht. By examining the history, background and workings of this 110-year-old co-operative sickness fund through collating data from many different sources, he identified the qualities that have ensured the long-term existence of this type of commons. The resulting archived data collection underpins the findings of this research.
This Data Atlas of Byzantine and Ottoman Material Culture involves the archiving, storing and making accessible of Medieval and Post-Medieval data from several archaeological missions in the eastern Mediterranean (period 600–2000 ad). The data mainly originate from pottery studies carried out during excavations in four major urban centres and during two surface surveys in their respective surroundings. The urban sites are Butrint in southern Albania, Athens in central Greece, Ephesus in western Turkey and Tarsus in eastern Turkey, the material culture of which is studied in relation to archaeological finds from rural settlements and towns in their hinterlands (e.g., Aetolia, Boeotia).
Helping Citizens to Locate Political Parties in the Policy Space: a Dataset for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Kostas Gemenis, Fernando Mendez and Jonathan Wheatley
The authors present a dataset that contains the positions of 231 political parties across 28 countries on 30 policy issues that were considered salient for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. The party position estimates were originally used in a voter information tool which compared the policy preferences of citizens to those of political parties. The paper discusses the estimation method in the context of the literature on estimating party positions, outlines the coding methodology, and introduces the value of the dataset for third-party users interested in studying political participation and representation.
Paula Devine and Gillian Robinson
Annual public attitudes surveys are important tools for researchers, policy makers, academics, the media and the general public, as they allow us to track how – or if – public attitudes change over time. This is particularly pertinent in a society coming out of conflict. This article highlights the background to the creation of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey in 1998, including its links to previous survey research. Given the political changes after the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in 1998, the challenge was to create a new annual survey that recorded public attitudes over time to key social issues pertinent to Northern Ireland’s social policy context. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the survey’s foundation, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Agreement. Thus, it is timely to reflect on the survey’s history and impact.
Philomeen Lelieveldt and Evert H. Bisschop Boele
What kinds of live music are available to the citizens of the cities of Groningen and Utrecht? That is the main question in two research projects, of which the databases have been made accessible in the Dataverse City Musicscapes (Lelieveldt & Bisschop Boele, 2018). At first sight databases of statistical research offices provide researchers with clear data about the number of venues and concerts and the participation of audiences (Gemeente Utrecht 2017, Van den Broek 2014). When looking closer we find that in these statistics only the regular (and mainly publicly funded) music venues are included. The authors’ projects show that a substantial part (53–60%) of live music concerts take place on non-regular locations, such as cafés, restaurants, clubs, churches, shopping malls and in open air. They developed a research tool to be able to draw a map of the musical landscape of a city (Musicscape). In this article we will reflect on the goals, research methods, datasets and some results from analysing our datasets. We hope this contributes to the discussion with scholars, music producers and policy makers about the added value of the concept of Musicscapes for the understanding of cultural participation, music performing practices and cultural policies.
Linguistics and Literature
The text of the Hebrew Bible is a subject of ongoing study in disciplines ranging from theology to linguistics to history to computing science. In order to study the text digitally, one has to represent it in bits and bytes, together with related materials. The author has compiled a dataset, called bhsa (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Amstelodamensis)), consisting of the textual source of the Hebrew Bible according to the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (bhs), and annotations by the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer. This dataset powers the website shebanq and others, and is being used in education and research. The author has developed a Python package, Text-Fabric, to process ancient texts together with annotations. He shows how Text-Fabric can be used to process the bhsa. This includes creating new research data alongside it, and sharing it. Text-Fabric also supports versioning: as versions of the bhsa change over time, and people invest a lot in applications based on the data, measures are needed to prevent the loss of earlier results.