New essay by Jeff Isaac asks: Is more deliberation about DA-RT a good thing?

In a new post on The Plot, Isaac asks: “why have so many of us bought into the idea that right now data access and research transparency –a “problem” constructed by DA-RT– is the most pressing challenge facing political science publishing and indeed, in terms of time and energy, the most pressing challenge facing political science?” He questions why we are talking about DA-RT at all, when we could be talking about other more important matters facing social science and the world.

APSR posts guidelines on transparency, human subjects protection, and qualitative data

In a new post, APSR editors respond to a set of questions about how they expect to apply standards of research transparency and data access in cases involving IRB requirements for human subject protection, articles based on archival material, ethnography, and other qualitative evidence, and other circumstances.

Tripp: transparency is tough for research in non-democratic contexts

In remarks posted from her research leave in Morocco, Aili Tripp (U of Wisconsin-Madison), writes that while she agrees with the objectives of DA-RT, she worries about how aware reviewers and journal editors are “of the ethical considerations and challenges of doing research in non-democratic contexts.” Furthermore, she is concerned about how data access requirements will affect the quality of field research: “I study women and politics and women’s movements in Africa and I can’t imagine people would want some of the things they say publicly attributed to them or their organization or even to the women’s movement and opponents of the women’s movements. They don’t want their strategies, jealousies, frustrations or weaknesses revealed to their competitors, opponents, or people they are lobbying.”


APSA presidents reiterate they welcome more deliberation on DA-RT

In order to make our views as clear as possible, we would like to reiterate some central points contained in our letter of November 24, 2015. They include:

*We welcome responses to and comments on this letter, and encourage continued conversations about how best to achieve the goals of research transparency and interpretability in ways that are responsive to the entire APSA membership. . . . We hope that decisions about policies such as DA-RT will be based on deliberation, mutual trust, and shared accommodation.

* We have appointed a publications policy committee comprised of current APSA Council members who will work with the extant membership-based Publications Committee to address a growing need for Council policy on publications. This policy could range from an explicit statement that each editor or editorial team of association-sponsored journals has complete autonomy, to a set of broad policies that association-sponsored journals should follow in order to accord with the APSA Guide to Professional Ethics. The committee will propose a policy to be discussed by the Council in its April 2016 meeting, followed by publication of the proposal and solicitation of members’ views and suggestions. The Council will vote on the (revised) policy in its September 2016 meeting.

* The current president-elect will propose, subject to Council approval, a presidential Task Force on Professional Ethics that will continue and develop ongoing work by current APSA membership-based committees.

*Under long-standing association practice, editors of our journals have wide discretion in editorial standards and procedures. After extensive consultation, the APSR editors have issued a set of draft guidelines for promoting access to evidence and research interpretability. We have therefore not expressed our own views on how these guidelines should be developed and put into practice.

* In our view, all scholars and scholarship benefit from shared engagement around a set of evidence and its possible analyses or interpretations.

We look forward to continued discussion and decision-making about these fascinating and important concerns, and once again, we thank the many political scientists who are involved in thinking through how best to engage in research, teaching, and public engagement.

best to all, Jennifer Hochschild, David Lake, and Rodney Hero