One of the key recommendations of the recent GIFCT-sponsored study to evaluate the strengths and limitations of terrorist definitions and designations lists was that “the technology sector and representatives from civil society, academia and government should work together to develop a global, unbiased and real-time database of possible terrorist entities.” In comparison to other sources, the authors identified “rigor and objectivity” as an advantage of academic datasets, while drawbacks of academic datasets include poor timeliness and challenges related to sustainability over time. In this briefing paper, I will 1) address each of the issues noted by Meserole and Byman, 2) identify and explore additional opportunities and challenges associated with academic data collection efforts, and 3) articulate specific strategies for effectively and responsibly leveraging academic data collection frameworks to expand the GIFCT taxonomy.
Miller, Erin. 2021. "Taxonomy Expansion and the Global Terrorism Database: Effectively Leveraging Academic Data Collection Initiatives." Broadening the GIFCT Hash-Sharing Database Taxonomy: An Assessment and Recommended Next Steps (July). https://gifct.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GIFCT-TaxonomyReport-2021.pdf