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Inter-organizational data and data bank design


Inter-organizational Data and Data Bank Design
Problem of definition
Graph theory and networks
Entities and data bank structure
Organizations creating special research problems
Viable collection systems
Data bank users
Interactive graphic displays

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Paper presented to the Workshop on International Organization Data, jointly sponsored by International Studies Association, Union of International Associations (Brussels); United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in conjunction with the the Annual Conference of the International Studies Association (San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 17-20, 1971)


The purpose of this paper is to show that there is an important area of data on international organization which has not been explored and yet seems to offer scope for some interesting investigation.

In looking at what could be appropriately included in international organizational data, the assumption is made here that any such data would be used for the analysis, understanding, and prediction of social change as well as any formulation of policy recommendations. Social change is understood to include development, and therefore the problem of adequate social indicators. Examination of social data in this general sense helps to identify an inadequately documented feature of international organization data, namely the links between social entities. This leads on to the types of entities that should be included in a data bank and its structure.

The design of a data bank cannot be based solely on the contents but must be structured in terms of the users' requirements. These are considered, particularly with regard to the need for more powerful user-interfaces to facilitate comprehension and the importance of multi-purpose data banks to guarantee frequent updating.