This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1243917 (Division of Social and Economic Sciences, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

The proposed RCN will:

  • Establish and expand an interdisciplinary research network focusing on government data (PI-NET – Poli-Informatics Research Network)
  • Conduct research competitions to stimulate cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research
  • Convene two interdisciplinary workshops
  • Design and implement a curriculum for the next generation of Poli-Informatics researchers
  • Publish a compendia of research studies to illustrate the potential of Poli-Informatics as a field.

The RCN will promote the advancement of Poli-Informatics as a field by:

  • Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Promoting  open source norms in academic research
  • Moving beyond data silos
  • Posing research questions
  • Fostering research competitions

Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration – New data and new research perspectives bring new insights. A central goal of this RCN is to leverage the comparative advantages of different disciplinary perspectives to advance new understanding and new approaches to the study of politics.

Promoting open source norms in academic research – In some (but not all) disciplines scholars do not share data until after they have fully exploited it. Such practices can be counterproductive to scientific progress, particularly in context or rapid change. By making valuable data broadly available, this RCN will attract substantial research interest.

Moving beyond data silos – Participants using PoliInformatics data will be encouraged to share tools that enable others to integrate and extend additional data they collect.

Posing questions – To encourage more scholars with diverse perspectives to invest in government data, it is essential to provide information about potential research questions, data sources and challenges.

Fostering research competitions – Research competitions or “bakeoffs” have proven very popular in the information sciences. Research competitions within disciplines will serve as feeders to the interdisciplinary workshop that are at the heart of this RCN.

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