Historical Social Research

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HSR Trans 22: Characteristics of Mass Data

Nina Baur: Characteristics of Mass Data. Selected References on Data Lore and Measurement Quality of Social Bookkeeping. HSR Trans 22 (2009).

Social bookkeeping data are one of the oldest data sources for historical and social research. While they resemble survey data in many ways, they also raise specific methodological problems, as the researcher does not control data production. Instead, societal and institutional filters influence which data are produced in what way and if and how data are stored. Accordingly, in the 1970s and 1980s, there has been an intense discussion on data quality and data management of public administrational data in German historical research. While the use of social bookkeeping data in research practice has increased in recent years, the methodological debate strangely lacks behind this development.

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These appendicies refer to the following HSR Special Issue: Nina Baur, ed. 2009. Social Bookkeeping Data: Data Quality and Data Management. Special Issue of Historical Social Research 34 (3). To HSR 34 (3)