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Maxwell’s Qualitative Data Repository receives NSF grant to facilitate ethical data sharing

September 27, 2018

Colin Elman

Colin Elman

Colin Elman, professor of political science and co-director of the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR), has received a $299,787 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the construction of socio-technical infrastructure to facilitate the safe sharing of sensitive qualitative research data. 

QDR is a domain repository dedicated to the storing and sharing of digital data derived from qualitative or multi-method research in the social sciences. Elman co-directs QDR with Diana Kapiszewski (Georgetown University).

The project, “Optimizing Openness in Human Participants Research,” seeks to harmonize standards for consent agreements and data management, to ease the reuse of scientific data. The NSF grant includes funding for four workshops timed to coincide with the annual meetings of professional scholarly associations, including the American Educational Research Association, the American Political Science Association, the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. The partnerships that spring from the project will help to harmonize approaches to sensitive human participants' data, facilitating the responsible and ethical sharing and reuse of such data, and encouraging richer, more rigorous, more replicable, and more reliable science. 

Elman serves as the principal investigator for the project, with co-investigators Kapiszewski, Lynette Hoelter (University of Michigan), and Margaret Levenstein (University of Michigan). The project is supported by the NSF’s Public Access Initiative, which is managed by the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure on behalf of the foundation.

Elman also directs the Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry, which is hosted by Maxwell’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. In addition, Elman manages the annual Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, and co-edits two Cambridge University Press book series, Strategies for Social Inquiry (with John Gerring, Boston University and James Mahoney, Northwestern University) and Methods for Social Inquiry (with Kapiszewski and Mahoney). Elman has published articles in the American Political Science Review, the Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, The International History Review, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Millennium, Perspectives, Political Science & Politics, Sociological Methods & Research, and Security Studies.


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