2016-05-16

ICPSR's new CivicLEADS archive provides data on civic education and action





By David Bleckley and Johanna Bleckman


Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines are interested in civic education, civic action, and the many relationships between the two. ICPSR's Education and Child Care Data Archives’ newest project provides infrastructure for researchers to share and access high-quality datasets, which can be used to study civic education and involvement. Funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, Civic Learning, Engagement, and Action Data Sharing (CivicLEADS) provides a centralized repository for this multi-disciplinary research area, including datasets  created across education, political science, developmental sciences, and other disciplines. Researchers can access quantitative and qualitative data on a broad range of topics for secondary analysis as well as share their own primary research data. CivicLEADS includes datasets from other ICPSR archives and seeks out emerging data collected by projects still in the field.


Beyond facilitating the sharing and discovery of data, CivicLEADS seeks to create a learning community around civic education and engagement research. The project strives to facilitate and support  relationships with and between investigators and researchers at every level—from students to emeriti faculty. Data shared in this archive have been documented with thorough metadata, and tools drawing upon these metadata allow researchers to explore and compare variables both within and between studies. By providing tutorials, webinars, and in-person training, CivicLEADS connects researchers with data and facilitates the future of civic education and civic action research.

Researchers can explore curated data, share their data for secondary analysis, learn about training opportunities, and more at www.civicleads.org.