Manual Data Collection in the age of Computers

I am beginning a new data collection project that requires the manual coding of data collected from various sources in print and online.  As I start this project, I am tasked with how to build a master record of all the data I collect in the process.  I have worked on projects that used extensive paper coding forms that were later filed away only to be retrieved when appropriate.  This serves as a safeguard to both checking original coding decision, errors in the database, and any other information the coders found while researching the topic at hand.  Alternatively, other projects Continue reading Manual Data Collection in the age of Computers

I am Easily Distracted by Databases

Jonathan Dingel on Friday stumbled upon a Preferential Trade Agreements Database hosted by the McGill University Faculty of Law which contains the text, or link to the text, of multiple PTAs. Given the abundance of studies that use trade activity as a direct (or proxy) measure for openness, this is an incredible collection that makes quantification of relevant and actual treaty information relatively straightforward (assuming one already knows what they are coding).  While PTAs are only a portion of all that is trade liberalization, a compilation of such knowledge is incredibly useful. A good find!