Journal article Open Access

The penumbra of DA-RT: Transparency, opacity, normativity: A Response to Pérez Bentancur, Piñeiro Rodríguez and Rosenblatt

Rossello, Diego

In the last few years a debate has been taking place on the best way to improve standards of research transparency in political science (Elman and Kapiszweski 2014; Büthe and Jacobs 2015; Isaac 2015; Pachirat 2015; Lupia and Elman 2016; Sil, Castro, and Calasanti 2016; Hall 2016; Fujii 2016; Htun 2016; Schwartz-Shea and Yanow 2016). Since 2009 efforts conducive to increasing openness, data access, and research transparency have been promoted under the name of DA-RT (Data Access and Research Transparency), and in 2012 such efforts crystallized in APSA’s Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science. Influenced by DA-RT’s initiative, Section 6 of the Guide now reads: “Researchers have an ethical obligation to facilitate the evaluation of their evidence-based knowledge claims through data access, production transparency, and analytic transparency so that their work can be tested or replicated” (APSA 2012, 9-10). But perhaps the first DA-RT initiative that caught the attention of political scientists more broadly was the controversial implementation of the Journal Editors’ Transparency Statement (JETS) by several journals in the discipline in 2016. As is well-known, Jeffrey Isaac, then editor of Perspectives of Politics—one of APSA’s flagship journals—refused to implement such standards. He wrote a piece defending relevant and problem-driven political science against what he saw as a resurgent neopositivism in the discipline (Isaac 2015). As evidenced by this symposium, the debate on DA-RT seems far from over. I thank the QMMR editors for the opportunity to take part in this exchange and professors Pérez Bentancur, Piñeiro Rodríguez and Rosenblatt (hereafter PPR) for their challenging piece.

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