Data Collection

The empirical analysis rests on complete national samples of HS cases covering a whole decade (ca. 1996 to 2005). The dataset which in its core is uniform across participating countries comprises around 2000 cases of HS.
In some of the participating countries (England & Wales, Finland, Netherlands and Switzerland), the data collection of HS events is linked to national homicide databases based on official sources. These databases constitute an excellent basis for research and can be assumed to be complete. In Finland, Netherlands and Switzerland, media reports have been collected additionally.

In Germany, Poland and Spain, data collection had to rely on media reports only due to the lack of suitable official data sources. Reports have been collected from large digital media archives (newspapers and news agencies) using sophisticated full-text searches and applying computational linguistics. The EHSS has been supported in this task by Prof. Ulrich Heid and Julia Weidenkaff, Institute for Natural Language Processing at the University of Stuttgart.

While many previous studies of HS have taken the same approach, the databases for these countries are expected to be incomplete to a certain extent due to the underreporting of HS incidences, esp. in less spectacular cases. One methodological aim of EHSS will be to validate media reporting where possible and to estimate the size of measurement error stemming from this source of information.
  • Last update: 16 July 2015
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