Open-source event data sets frequently used for social science analysis rarely provide any transparent explanation of the credibility of sources or the validity of data thereby obtained. We develop a sample Source Evaluation Schema for the purpose of operationalizing measures of open-source event validity at the case, source, and variable levels. Based on our findings, we argue that explicitly incorporating and disclosing credibility and validity levels allows for greater flexibility in tailoring the inclusion of cases for researchers' specific analytical requirements. By facilitating more transparent analyses, the inclusion of such measures in similar datasets can result in more defensible conclusions, especially in highly charged political and security contexts such as those surrounding terrorism.
Ackerman, Gary and Lauren E. Pinson. 2016. "Speaking Truth to Sources: Introducing a Method for the Quantitative Evaluation of Open Sources in Event Data." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (April): 617-640. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1057610X.2016.1141000