CIRI FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is the CIRI Human Rights Dataset?
A. The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for a wide range of internationally-recognized human rights for countries of all regime-types and from all regions of the world. The data set contains measures of government human rights practices, not human rights policies or overall human rights conditions (which may be affected by non-state actors).
Q. What human rights are included in CIRI?
A. The CIRI dataset contains information about government respect for a wide range of human rights. The selection of the particular rights in the CIRI dataset does not imply that these rights are considered to be more important than other human rights. Rather, these are the rights for which we have reliable and systematically available information across time and space. Indeed, we hope to grow CIRI over time to ever-include more human rights as resources allow. CIRI currently includes measures of the practices of governments that allow or impede citizens who wish to exercise their:
For a brief explanation of each variableís definition and operationalization, please see the CIRI Variable Short Description Sheet.
- Physical integrity rights--the rights not to be tortured, summarily executed, disappeared, or imprisoned for political beliefs. The scores of these variables can be summed to form a statistically valid cumulative scale (Cingranelli and Richards, 1999; Richards, Gelleny, and Sacko, 2001). Please see our bibliography page for full references.
- Civil liberties such as free speech, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and the right to participate in the selection of government leaders. The scores of some of these variables can be summed to form a statistically valid cumulative scale (Richards, Gelleny, and Sacko, 2001).
- Workersí rights
- Rights of women to equal treatment politically, economically, and socially.
For a full explanation of each variableís definition and operationalization, please see the CIRI Coding Guide.
Q. What countries and years does CIRI cover?
A. CIRI includes information about 195 countries, for the years 1981 to 2009. For thirty-three of these countries, added in December 2004, data only exist for 2001 and 2003 and beyond. For either a full country listing or a list of the 33 new additions, click HERE.
Q. What is CIRIís unit of analysis?
A. CIRIís unit of analysis is the "country-year." A country-year is a particular country in a particular year. For instance, "United States 1998" is a particular country-year. It is a single snapshot of space and time -- one country in a particular year.
Q. How do I cite the CIRI Human Rights Dataset?
A. Please feel free to use the citation style of your choice, given the following information:
|Dataset Name:|| ||The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset|
|Principal Investigators:|| ||David L. Cingranelli and David L. Richards|
|Current Version Copyright:|| ||2010|
|Dataset Version:|| ||2011.12.09|
Q. How reliable are the CIRI data?
A. To ensure reliability, every country-year in the CIRI dataset is independently coded by at least two trained coders, who meet with senior CIRI staff to resolve any disagreements. For the most recent coding, the Krippendorfís r-bar measure of interrater reliability for the entire set was 0.944. CIRI discounts in this figure disagreements among coders based solely upon one coder having missed some information in a source, as these errors do not make it into the final data and are not the result of operationalization. Please see our Documentation page for an Excel file with interrater reliability statistics for each individual variable.
Q. How often is CIRI updated?
A. New-data updates are issued annually on Human Rights Day (December 10th) to cover the year ending the previous December. Updates that make error corrections are made as necessary, and such updates are listed in the news section of the CIRI Homepage and your MyCIRI page.
Q. What is CIRIís missing data code?
A. CIRI uses the code -999 where data are missing. Be sure to remove this value from your dataset or use software to exclude it from analysis, before engaging in a statistical analysis using the CIRI data.
Q. Are there codes in the dataset other than variable values or the missing data code that I should be aware of?
A. Sometimes, special circumstances in a country make it so that a CIRI value cannot be given, but there is more information than a "missing data" code would indicate. Such instances receive one of the following special codes developed by the POLITY data project and outlined in Marshall and Jaggers (2003). Be sure to remove these values from your dataset or use software to exclude them from analysis, before engaging in a statistical analysis using the CIRI data.
A score of "-77" indicates periods of interregnum, during which there is a complete collapse of central political authority.
A score of "-66" indicates a period of interruption. If a country is occupied by foreign powers during wartime, terminating the old polity, then reestablishes the pre-war polity after the occupation ends, the intervening years are coded as an interruption.
For a full discussion of the POLITY indicators of special circumstance see Marshall and Jaggers (2003).
Reference (available Here):
Marshall, Monty G. and Keith Jaggers. 2003. Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2002.
Q. Where does the information used to create the CIRI dataset come from?
A. The primary source of information about human rights practices is obtained from a careful reading of the annual United States Department of Stateís Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Coders are instructed to use this source for all variables. For a group of four rights known as "Physical Integrity Rights" (the rights to freedom from extrajudicial killing, disappearance, torture, and political imprisonment) coders also use a second source, Amnesty Internationalís Annual Report. Both reports can be found online for recent years. If there are discrepancies between the two sources, coders are instructed to treat the Amnesty International evaluation as authoritative. Some scholars believe that this step is necessary to remove a potential bias in favor of US allies, although Poe, et al, (2001) have found evidence of great agreement between these reports.
Poe, Steven P., Sabine C. Carey, and Tanya C. Vazquez. 2001. "How are these pictures Different? A quantitative comparison of the US State Department and Amnesty International human rights reports, 1976-1995." Human Rights Quarterly 23.3: 650-677.
Q. How do I download the CIRI data?
A. Downloading the CIRI data is as easy as using a vending machine! Just click on the Download CIRI Human Rights Data tab at the top of any CIRI page (including this one), and youíll be led through a series of easy steps where youíll choose the variables, countries/regions/subregions, and years that you wish to download. Youíll be able to download your chosen CIRI data in either the Excel or CSV (comma delimited text) formats.
Q. What is MyCIRI?
A. MyCIRI is a personal page you can create on the CIRI website. On your MyCIRI page you can save, edit, and/or delete your data queries. For example, if you download CIRI data for Latin American countries for the years 1981-1990 and the dataset is updated soon after, you donít have to go through the entire selection process again to update your data if you have saved your query to your MyCIRI page. To update your query, youíd simply select your saved query and it will draw the data you want, using the updated data.
Q. Why must I register to download the data?
A. The CIRI project relies on the generosity of its sponsors to keep the data freely available for users. To keep current sponsors, and hopefully attract additional ones, CIRI keeps some simple information which it can provide sponsors to show how often, and by whom, CIRI is used. This is a "proof of purchase" for sponsors that the CIRI project is providing a useful service to the scholarly community and beyond. Registration, in conjunction with the CIRI licensing agreement, also ensures that CIRI is used responsibly. Any information given in either the registration or licensing endeavors, such as e-mail, will ONLY be used for CIRI purposes and will NEVER be sold or given to any third party. Your privacy is assured.
MyCIRI uses session cookies, which are deleted when you close your web browser (or log out of MyCIRI). Please ensure that your web browser is configured to accept cookies. If you have difficulty accessing MyCIRI after registering, please contact us.
Q. How do I report that Iíve used CIRI in an upcoming publication?
A. We would love to list your publications using CIRI data on our Bibliography Page. To report a publication, simply send your citation to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Who do I contact if I think Iíve found an error in the CIRI dataset?
A. Weíd be glad to hear from you if you think youíve found an error -- our goal is to make the CIRI data as accurate as possible. If you believe you have found an error, please contact us at email@example.com.
Q. May I use CIRI in a for-profit enterprise?
A. The standard licensing agreement on our website that allows for the free download of CIRI data does not allow for-profit use of the CIRI data. CIRI is not opposed to for-profit use of the data, but such use requires a separate agreement. If you would like to use CIRI for your for-profit work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and weíd be pleased to work with you.
Q. Who do I contact in case of technical difficulty with the CIRI website?
A. If you are having a technical difficulty with the CIRI website, please e-mail our webmaster at email@example.com.
Q. Does CIRI have an RSS news feed?
A. Yes, CIRI has an RSS 2.0 feed of its news and announcements. The URL of the feed is: http://www.humanrightsdata.org/content/ciri_news.rss.xml.