Journal article Open Access

Not there for the taking: DA-RT and policy research

Majic, Samantha

Political scientists frequently study government policies—the tools that shape behaviors towards certain outcomes and allocate values in a society. Found in laws, administrative documents, court decrees, and the practices of government administrations, these tools are generally visible and available to the public. Therefore, one may assume that DA-RT—the APSA-sponsored initiative that requires scholars to reference the data they generate and provide other scholars with access to these data by depositing them in a “trusted digital repository”—will not impede public policy researchers. In the pages that follow, I draw from my experience conducting research about sex work-related policies and political activism in the United States to challenge this assumption. To do this, I question DA-RT’s conception of data and its understanding of (policy) research as an “extractive” enterprise (Pachirat 2015).

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