The Public Comment Analysis Toolkit (PCAT) is a cloud computing platform. It enables efficient and scalable
Web-based collaborative text analysis. PCAT uses automation, clustering, search, peer networks, credentials,
an internal architecture for evaluation, and a streamlined annotation work flow to improve human judgments about
This initial version of the system is specifically tailored to handle many forms of public comments submitted
to US federal agencies during regulatory rulemaking and related public comment-generating activities. PCAT is a
customizable platform for accurate, reliable and valid classification of any digitized text collection. Single
users, expert teams, and wider crowd-sourced groups can browse, search, sift, sort, annotate and report on large
collections of text data.
In PCAT, the owner of the data (the person who uploads it) has complete control over who
in the system can see or work with any particular archive or dataset. The same is true of every aspect of an
individual user's credentials. Each PCAT user decides whether and to what extent to be a part of PCAT's public
Directory of Peers. The goal of the directory is to create a network of expert and lay users who can collaborate
to share data, findings and annotations.
PCAT is hosted and maintained by Texifter, LLC
and powered by Microsoft ASP.NET,
with technical and project support provided by the
Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP),
in the University Center for Social and Urban Research,
at the University of Pittsburgh and
in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences,
at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Content on this website was made possible with the following grants from the National Science Foundation:
"Collaborative Research III-COR: From a Pile of Documents to a Collection of Information: A Framework for Multi-Dimensional Text Analysis"
as well as
IIS-0429293 "Collaborative Research: Language Processing Technology for Electronic Rulemaking."
We are also grateful for financial support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.