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Vote World is a central website which archives, maintains, and distributes datasets of roll-call voting from legislative bodies throughout the international community.
The main challenge is to create some "open source" software standards to allow other datasets projects from other legislatures to be available in VoteWorld. Without such standards, maintenance of such a project would be cumbersome.
Given the growth of research, it has become necessary to develop a common platform allowing researchers to upload easily their databases on roll call data. Such a database would make an enormous contribution to the development of scientific knowledge relating to a wide variety of fields in the social sciences.
This website will also serve an important archival purpose. After the development of the Nominate scaling method by Poole and Rosenthal in the 1980s, the assembly of large legislative roll call datasets "took off". These datasets have permanent value to the research community. It is important to find a means of institutionalizing their availability in order that access will transcend the research careers of the scholars who have assembled them. This involves not only keeping the existing datasets on the web but in keeping the datasets current. For example, the United States Congress now spans 1789 through 2000. Keeping it current will, at some point, require institutional support.
Comparative data on legislative voting can be widely used not only by political scientists but also by economists, sociologists and historians. It will also allow non-academics - specifically high-school and middle-school students to look at roll call votes the day after (or as soon as they would be posted) they occur. This will have great educational value.