Presentation at London School of Economics on May 4, 2017

On May 4, 2017, 16:15 - 17:45 Karsten Donnay speaks at the Data Science Seminar Series of the Social and Economic Data Science (SEDS) Research Unit in the Department of Methodology of the London School of Economics on the topic of "Integrating Conflict Event Data."


The growing volume of sophisticated event-level data collection, with improving geographic and temporal coverage, offers prospects for conducting novel analyses. In instances where multiple related datasets are available, researchers tend to rely on one at a time, ignoring the potential value of the multiple datasets in providing more comprehensive, precise, and valid measurement of empirical phenomena. If multiple datasets are used, integration is typically limited to manual efforts for select cases. We develop the conceptual and methodological foundations for automated, transparent and reproducible integration and disambiguation of multiple event datasets. We formally present the methodology, validate it with synthetic test data, and demonstrate its application using conflict event data for Africa, drawing on four leading sources (UCDP-GED, ACLED, SCAD, GTD). We show that whether analyses rely on one or multiple datasets can affect substantive findings with regard to key explanatory variables, thus highlighting the critical importance of systematic data integration.