International Relations

Wikileaks Data

Jul 26 '10

The Guardian’s data blog has used the classified documents about the war in Afghanistan released by Wikileaks to create an incredibly detailed dataset of every IED attack between 2004 and 2009. This should be fascinating data for any analyst of terrorism or counterinsurgency.

All of this raises an interesting question: Will/should political science journals publish research based on data that the State Department says is still classified and was published in breach of federal law? My preliminary answer is that they probably will and should but I would love to hear your thoughts.

Update: As someone pointed out in an e-mail, this may be especially an issue for the many political scientists who work in the area of international security and have (or may want) a security clearance.