Policymakers, researchers and journalists alike will soon have access to roughly 4.2 million state government decisions in a single database.
West Virginia University political science researcher, William Franko, a professor in the Rockefeller School of Politics and Policy, is part of a research team collecting every legislative bill, executive rule and judicial decision across all 50 states, some dating back to the 1950s.
Over the next three years, the policies will be collected, digitized and compiled in an open source database. The first-of-its-kind database will serve as a comprehensive source of data to track the movement of policies from one state government to another.
The database will be available online and as part of an open source software package for more advanced analysis, which will include methods to easily determine where policies began and how they spread throughout other states.
The project is supported by a $50,000 National Science Foundation grant. Part of the NSF’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences, it is one of 15 grants totaling nearly $5 million awarded for the development of user-friendly, next-generation data resources that can help advance research in the social, behavioral and economic sciences.
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