Political Science Now

Perspectives on Politics Statement on Scholarly Recognition

Perspectives on Politics has long been committed to promoting scholarly sharing, among political scientists and between political scientists and other reading publics, that is serious, rigorous, relevant, honest and intellectually fair.

In light of the rhetoric of intellectual probity surrounding the controversy over the DA-RT (“Data Access and Research Transparency”) initiative, we think it important to issue a statement publicly reiterating one of our journal’s long-standing practices and also announcing a new policy regarding citation practices.

(1) Perspectives has long been committed to the highest standards of general research transparency.

Perspectives is a scholarly journal of political science fully committed to double-blind peer review of all research articles and to honest and open sharing of ideas and evidence. We regard such commitments as essential to the publicity and intellectual care at the heart of all serious scholarly inquiry and publication. Our policies have reflected these commitments from the start of our editorship.

Since 2009 we have thus shared versions of the letter below with all authors of articles we are publishing.  The letter encourages authors to make their evidentiary sources, including data, accessible, and invites them to take advantage of resources provided by the journal and Cambridge University Press (who hosts supplemental material at permanent links) to prepare these sources in a manner that seems reasonable given their work and their personal convictions as authors and valued colleagues.

This policy has been voluntary and it will remain voluntary. At the same time, we work very closely with authors in the development of their work, and in recent years this policy has been strongly encouraged as part of a more general conversation about how to publish the best work possible.

(2) Perspectives is fully committed to the ethical value of inclusivity and appropriate scholarly recognition of the work of others.

Two years ago, in response to widespread discussion of the issue within the profession, our editorial board initiated a serious discussion of the problem of gender bias in citation practices and other forms of bias as well. At our 2015 annual board meeting in San Francisco, the board voted unanimously to adopt changes in the instructions we send to all book and manuscript reviewers that underscore the importance of citing all relevant sources.

We have thus incorporated the following language into all reviewer letters:

“In considering these questions, the work’s treatment of relevant literatures and authors is particularly germane to your evaluation. If you have concerns about citation bias, regarding gender, people of color, or other under-represented scholarly communities, these would also be worth noting.  Obviously, your evaluation will be based largely on your reading of the work as a scholarly expert. But please keep in mind that Perspectives on Politics is a distinctive kind of political science journal, and seeks to promote research that is integrative and that reaches broadly within political science.”

Both of these measures serve the same purpose: promoting forms of research practice and scholarly discourse that enact proper regard for the intersubjective character of scientific practice. We believe strongly that all scholars ought to pay attention to and acknowledge the work of others relevant to their own work, and that all scholars ought to present their work in a way that makes it accessible to critical scrutiny by others in the field.

Jeffrey C. Isaac, Editor in Chief, Perspectives on Politics
James Moskowitz, Managing Editor, Perspectives on Politics

Perspectives on Politics – Supplementary Materials and Data Guidelines

Dear XXXXXX,

On the first page of articles, Perspectives on Politics includes a note to readers regarding the availability of supplemental materials.  Online materials may include additional tables, graphs, and extended commentary.  We encourage authors to supply appropriate materials for the purposes of transparency and/or replication.  Therefore, as we approach the proofs/copy editing stage for each accepted article, we ask that you supply our offices with some information about the materials you deem necessary to fulfill this important scholarly responsibility.

Authors of articles in this journal that rely on quantitative data are encouraged to provide — for storage in a Cambridge University Press-provided public archive — the information necessary to replicate their numerical results.  The information deposited should include items such as original data, specialized computer programs, lists of computer program recodes, extracts of existing data files, and most important, an explanatory file that describes what is included and explains how to re-produce the exact numerical results in the published work.

Authors of works relying upon qualitative data are encouraged (but not required) to submit comparable materials that would facilitate replication where feasible, and that would allow readers to clearly evaluate the evidentiary basis of arguments for interpretive research in which “replication” is not an appropriate standard. In many cases article endnotes properly citing all sources and references are sufficient.

Statements explaining the inappropriateness of sharing data for a specific work (or of indeterminate periods of embargo of the data or portions of it) can fulfill the journal expectation. If necessary, peer reviewers can be asked to assess this statement as part of the general evaluative process, and to advise the editor accordingly.  In almost all cases of limited access, some excerpt or sub-sample of data can be provided in the interim.

As always, authors are advised to remove information from their data sets that must remain confidential, such as the names of survey respondents. Also as always, we affirm our commitment to the autonomy of our authors. Your research and writing is your own, and you are the best judge of the kinds of supplementary materials that are best suited to your style of research and writing.

In establishing these expectations, our goal is to facilitate the kind of publicity that is at the heart of scholarly communication.

To submit files, or documents, please reply with attachments to this email.

A NOTE ON TIMING – Before XX/XX/XXX, please let us know if/what you intend to send for upload.  A short list of contents or filenames is fine. For example: (Appendix Tables 1-4, Explanatory File, Data Appendix, Summary Statistics, Transcript of Interview, Interview excerpts, etc.)

An example of how this appears in the pages of Perspectives is shown above.   You can also see and download a variety of examples online at CJO – just look for articles with the supplementary data flag:

Amaney A. Jamal, Robert O. Keohane, David Romney and Dustin Tingley
Perspectives on Politics / Volume  13 / Issue 01 / March 2015, pp 55 – 73
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1537592714003132

Danny Hayes and Jennifer L. Lawless
Perspectives on Politics / Volume  13 / Issue 01 / March 2015, pp 95 – 118
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1537592714003156

Lindsay J. Benstead, Amaney A. Jamal and Ellen Lust
Perspectives on Politics / Volume  13 / Issue 01 / March 2015, pp 74 – 94
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1537592714003144

Understandably, the actual files may take some time to prepare.  These could follow any time after your response to this letter — as long as they arrive before XX/XX/XXXX.

Best wishes,

James Moskowitz
Managing Editor
Perspectives on Politics

 

Read more about Perspectives on Politics at APSA.net