November 17, 2015 | January 1, 2016 effective date
Global Integrity (GI) research data, including the Global Integrity Report, Local Integrity Initiatives, the State Integrity Investigation, the Campaign Finance Indicators, and the Africa Integrity Indicators, have been published and available for download, and remain accessible to interested users. GI data is produced by expert researchers, contracted for their country level knowledge and expertise, and produced following GI’s published methodology, including a rigorous peer review, as well as internal quality control and consistency reviews. These procedures ensure that the data is both accurate and detailed when published.
Global Integrity stands behind the methodology and resultant data. Expert researchers are trained and provided with detailed coding instructions and research standards. GI staff rigorously assess draft research in light of these, multiple peer reviewers assess the draft research for accuracy and adherence to standards, and GI staff review the final work again to ensure a consistent application of standards and scoring criteria.
However, published data is occasionally challenged as being inaccurate or needing improvement. Internally, GI staff has occasionally identified issues with published data. In rare cases, certain data issues have been highlighted by outside data users. Until October 2015, suggested improvements were assessed on a case by case basis, in very few instances calling for comment, source, and / or scoring alterations. The policy set forth in this document, in effect from January 1, 2016, will drive all such decisions moving forward.
GI will continue to focus the bulk of its resources on current and future research rather than investigating potential changes to published data. Therefore, upon publishing any new data, a single two month comment window will be made available for data users to provide feedback and potential corrective information, after which time the published data will remain as is. Within the comment window, where data users provide corrective information that meets the research standards, this will be added to the published research. Where issues are highlighted in the data after this comment window, the published data will remain as is; however, GI will keep detailed notes covering the new information identified along with brief explanatory detail and make the same available to data users, where possible making notations (i.e. adding an asterisk) to the relevant indicators. The goal will be to transparently share the new information provided, while enabling organizational and researcher resources to focus on producing current and future rounds of this important research rather than re-investigating prior rounds.
Upon the completion of a research round, when GI staff have completed their final standards and consistency checks, the research will be offered for two months in a provisionally final form. GI would publish provisional data, allowing potential users and interested parties to review the provisional data, and will welcome additional evidence or sources should they be necessary. GI will then take a third month to assess the provided material in relation to research standards and scoring criteria, and work with the researcher should any adjustments be deemed necessary. At the end of this three month period, GI will adjust all necessary data in the recently published research, updating it accordingly. This will then be considered the final data and scoring for the research round.
Post comment period
Once the comment period is complete, no scoring, comments or sources will be adjusted. However, should further areas for improvement be identified, GI will keep detailed notes covering the new information identified along with brief explanatory detail, and make the same available to data users, where possible making notations (i.e. adding an asterisk) to the relevant indicators in the published data. Any such necessary updates will be made to the published data on a quarterly or more frequent basis.
All externally recommended alterations will be tracked by GI in the relevant project database, noting the source and feedback provided, along with an explanation of whether the alteration was deemed necessary, including the rationale. This database will also reflect when the published data was altered (or notated in the post comment period).
The aforementioned tracking list will be published online by GI.
This policy will apply only from January 1, 2016, and thus prior rounds will at this time be considered final as published, subject only to the ‘post comment period’ notating explained above.