Tagging of Sources
We believe that our Guide should be as transparent as possible without endangering the confidentiality of our sources. Rather than name the exact source for each unit of data, we have created tags so that users can at least know whether the data comes from a primary or secondary source, and by which medium it can or has been found. All incoming data is validated and then tagged by the project team at BICC before it enters our database.
Sources are tagged according to the following criteria:
1. Primary Sources:
These are presentations of facts. They are proof of an SALW event (e.g. a transfer, sighting, misuse, etc.) because the source was created at the time of the event itself. Primary sources as usually original documents such as transfer authorizations, firearms legislation, or academic journals presenting results of a study on SALW holdings in a particular country, for example. However, they can also be information offered by a person with direct knowledge of an SALW event or who has documented an SALW event at the time that it happened.
2. Secondary Sources:
These are interpretations or evaluation of facts. Secondary sources contain commentary and analysis of SALW events that are documented in primary sources.
Sources are also tagged according to the dominant medium of delivery:
A. Written - the source is based on written words.
B. Oral - the source is based on spoken words.
C. Visual - the source is based on seen events or optical images.
These criteria make our tags two-dimensional. While the process of classifying sources is a primarily subjective one, the project team at BICC has developed the following table to serve as an example of possible sources within each category.
Table: Examples of sources on SALW distribution
Table: Example tags
|Source (sample)||Type of source||Medium of delivery|
|IHS Jane’s Weapons Infantry (2015-2016)||primary||written|
|Panel discussion of weapons use of non-state armed groups||secondary||oral|
|Documentary on paramilitaries in Colombia||primary||visual|