The J. David Singer Data Innovation award has been awarded jointly to the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and PRIO for the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset. The award is given by the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and it is the second time it is presented. Håvard Hegre and Peter Wallensteen accepted the prize on behalf of PRIO and UCDP at this year's APSA conference in Chicago 29 August-1 September.
The Singer Award recognizes projects which contribute to the enterprise of systematic data collection on conflict, whether international or domestic. The two primary criteria are impact and innovation. Projects with high impact influence the research of many others by providing data sets or tools which are used widely in the field. Innovative projects change how we think about data in any number of ways, such as what we can collect as data, how we collect it, and how we analyze it. Projects which create public goods for the community of scholars who study conflict systematically are those that the award seeks to recognize.
The award committee states that ‘Because the data include non-state actors and lower thresholds for fatalities, the Armed Conflict Data Set allows researchers to explore different thresholds for conflict which may be appropriate for particular questions. The data are well documented, with useful case histories. We also recognize the presentation of the data on the website and the tools provided by the projects to allow users of varying expertise levels to examine the data. The article of record for the UCDP/PRIO armed conflict data set has been cited over 1500 times according to Google Scholar, an impressive record. The data form the core for a number of extension projects including geo-referenced conflict data, battle-deaths data, and data on conflict termination. The availability of the Armed Conflict Data set facilitates research by many other scholars, in many different directions.’
The annual update of the dataset is published in Journal of Peace Research, most recently in the July 2013 issue.