The Party Facts project aims to offer a gateway to empirical data about political parties and provides a modern online almanac about parties and their history as recorded in social science datasets. It makes use of social media technologies to create a collaborative data infrastructure following an approach to collect data successfully applied by the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).
Over the last decades, political scientists have accumulated a large amount of data on political parties. This information is included in mass surveys, data handbooks and various datasets on election results, voting records, party characteristics and party positions. With this information we can trace the dynamics of party competition across countries and time. However, the many existing datasets with crucial information about political parties are difficult to link and there is the need for an infrastructure that helps combining existing sources. We are in need of a modern almanac about political parties that gathers information about parties and maps existing data sources.
With Party Facts we want to establish an infrastructure that supports political scientists in linking parties across datasets. Our work is based on the experience we gained in recording and linking party information in the Manifesto project and the ParlGov project with initial data for Party Facts derived from these two projects. In the Party Facts project we link core datasets of political science and provide a platform for other scientists to add party keys from additional datasets.
Party Facts includes a list of parties that have been recorded in political science datasets and provides links across these datasets. It offers a platform to collect and add some key information about the evolution of parties from these datasets. The project uses modern online technologies to offer an opportunity for collaborative data collection. Registered users can add missing links between parties, can validate links and are given the opportunity to provide additional information about parties and their history.
Further extensions may include an online (expert) survey page for each party, user specific linking options between parties and a modern data interface (REST API).