Journal article Open Access
Betancur, Verónica Perez; Piñeiro Rodríguez, Rafael; Rosenblatt, Fernando
Discussion regarding the introduction and expansion of data access and research transparency (DA-RT) standards in political science has aroused a lively debate (e.g. Büthe et al. 2015). Scholars of various methodological orientations— qualitative researchers, theorists and even some experimentalists—have raised several concerns about the desirability or difficulties of implementing these standards (Fujii 2016; Isaac 2015; Pachirat 2015). Yet, the argument for making qualitative research more accessible and transparent has already been presented in several excellent pieces (see, e.g., Büthe et al. 2015; Büthe and Jacobs 2015; Elman, Kapiszewski, and Vinuela 2010; Elman and Kapiszewski 2014; Gleditsch and Kern 2016; Lupia and Elman 2014; Moravcsik 2014). We have also supported the introduction of these standards, extending the logic of preregistration to qualitative analysis (Piñeiro and Rosenblatt 2016, Piñeiro, Pérez, and Rosenblatt 2016). In this brief note, we add to the literature cited above by highlighting a different perspective on the assessment of the introduction and expansion of DART practices in the discipline, especially in qualitative research with a focus on preregistration. It is important at the outset to stress that our claims are only valid for— and can thus be only applied to—positivist qualitative research, i.e. research that seeks to make descriptive and causal claims regarding a research problem. The interpretivist tradition in political science and other traditions in the social sciences and humanities follow other epistemological rules (Sil, Castro, and Calasanti 2016). Our discussion is not meant to suggest that one tradition is superior to others.