Bridging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Best Practices in the Development of Historically-Oriented Replication Databases

Author(s): Evan Lieberman 

Status/Format: Published

Date: 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

Publisher: Annual Review of Political Science

Volume and Issue: 13

Page Numbers: 37 - 59


The proliferation of historically oriented replication data has provided great opportunities for political scientists to develop and to test theories relevant to a range of macrohistorical phenomena. But what is the quality of such data? Are the codings or quantitative mappings of historical events, processes, and unit characteristics based on sufficiently solid foundations equivalent to those found in detailed case studies? This article evaluates a set of the most transparently disseminated replication datasets across a variety of research domains from the perspective of best-practice qualitative-historical research. It identifies a wide range of practices, highlighting both fundamental and innovative standards that might be adopted in future research.