Journal article Open Access

DA-RT: Prioritizing the profession over the public?

Rasmussen, Amy Cabrera

Critics of the American Political Science Association’s Data Access and Research Transparency (DA-RT) policy have targeted the initiative on many fronts, not the least of which is the impact that the policy will have on political science’s engagement with the public—evocative of the recurrent appeals to remake the discipline with an eye to relevance, usefulness, and comprehensibility (Isaac 2015).1 DART’s proponents seem assured of the positive impact of the policy, heralding its contributions to transferring knowledge beyond disciplinary boundaries, and in particular toward improving political science’s public face, making it more credible and legitimate (Lupia and Elman 2014). However, I argue that DA-RT overemphasizes the purported disciplinary benefits without adequate consideration of the probable harms to the public. This is especially the case for marginalized communities and the policy issues that affect them, and is likely to result in a chilling effect on such research.

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