Political Science Now

DA-RT Workshop Held in DC

John Ishiyama speaks about the leading initiatives taken by the editors of APSR regarding data access and research transparency.

In March 2015, APSA, the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan, and the Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry at Syracuse University, co-sponsored “Data Sharing and Research Transparency in the Social Sciences: the Role of Scholarly Associations” in Washington D.C. This workshop on data access and research transparency (DA-RT) brought together leaders from a diverse set of social science-oriented scholarly associations. A number of forward-looking academic publishers also sent representatives. The workshop highlighted the role scholarly associations have played, and can play, in using greater commitments to data sharing and research transparency to increase the credibility and legitimacy of their members’ scholarly work.

Background

For many years, and in many disciplines, the rewards to authors for publishing evidence-based knowledge claims were hardly increased at all by their also providing comprehensive information about how those claims were produced. These practices have hindered readers’ ability to truly understand or evaluate many evidence-based claims. Because transparent research is more credible and more legitimate, new opportunities for transparency promise substantial benefits for the advancement of knowledge. In addition, shared data provide public goods that pay extraordinary dividends for entire research communities and society at large. For these reasons, social scientists from a wide variety of epistemological traditions are developing and implementing new standards that increase credibility and give readers improved abilities to correctly interpret evidence-based claims. Scholarly associations have a unique potential to promote such efforts and the workshop focused on how they could hasten and extend recent progress.

Workshop Highlights

The workshop closed with discussions of how professional associations can further collaborate to increase the kinds of credibility and legitimacy to which so many of their members aspire.