The Urban Institute has streamlined the process for writing their annual Nonprofit Sector in Brief publication by opening up their data and creating data-driven documents using R and markdown. For an overview of the process check out their recent blog.
In 2017, we unveiled the National Center for Charitable Statistics Data Archive as the first step in this initiative. Historically, NCCS data were distributed through a registration and fee–based system — you could find some aggregate numbers on our website (and in the Nonprofit Sector in Brief), but full access was restricted to those willing to pay for it. The new data archive, for the first time ever, released all our data (almost 30 years’ worth on all nonprofit organizations registered in the US) in CSV format for free, without requiring registration. NCCS data are now more accessible than ever.
This month, we’ll unveil the next step: our new website. Designed with our new initiative’s core tenets in mind, the new website allows users to find not only NCCS publications but also the data and code used to create those publications.”
In addition to streamlining the process, it also makes it easier for people to reproduce their graphics and tables using their own specific samples. One more step toward open science in nonprofit research.