Journal article Open Access
Recent calls for Data Access and Research Transparency (DA-RT) come from a reasonable desire to hold scholars accountable for their research practices and processes (Lupia and Elman 2014). These calls, however, also come from disciplinary perspectives that seem to misunderstand interpretive and qualitative research in some fundamental ways; further, they offer solutions to problems that would be much more appropriately fixed through processes of peer review. My not-so-revolutionary position on DA-RT for scholars who undertake interviews and fieldwork— especially for scholars who do so with vulnerable populations and around sensitive questions—is that where data cannot be transparent, explanations of the processes of data collection must be. 1 But, because explanations of these processes are standard parts of scholarly articles and books that elaborate these projects, and because peer review often centers on questions of method and interpretation, an additional layer of expectation— such as that proposed through a requirement for active citation (Moravcsik 2010)—is not only unnecessary, it is onerous, and potentially chilling for research on vulnerable populations and sensitive questions.