First, I want to thank you for the time and care with which you have crafted this letter. I know how much time it takes to do this kind of thing and appreciate your devotion to an important issue. Second, I agree with your views and wish to second the response as you describe it by Bingham Powell about the JETS statement. Third, I encourage the APSA Council at its next meeting to re-open this issue and to consider fully the kinds of considerations raised by Powell, especially as concerns the tension between ethics, confidentiality and privacy of subjects on the one hand and transparency on the other. I will copy Rodney, Jennifer and David so they can respond as they wish but are included in the conversation.
I was one of the many people who worked to get the Qualitative methods set up, am a member and a recipient of the Sartori prize in 2013. I use qualitative methods extensively in my own work and teaching. I try to publish my data, and have been fortunate enough that the presses I work with have been willing to publish these data in my books, even when doing so increased the number of pages in books that presses would much prefer be shorter. I have placed many of my data — in the form of complete but edited interviews– on line at the UCI Ethics Center. I want to make these data available to as many scholars as possible both because I believe in openness and transparency and because I know that later scholars, using more sophisticated techniques than those available to me, will have the opportunity to employ these different techniques using my data, many of which are in the form of interviews with people now dead. There findings may well contradict mine or add to earlier findings in important ways, so sharing data is an important part of science. All of which is to say that I believe in data transparency and try to act on that principle as much as possible.
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