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Data Access and Research Transparency in the Qualitative Tradition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 December 2013

Colin Elman
Syracuse University
Diana Kapiszewski
Georgetown University


As an abstract idea, openness is difficult to oppose. Social scientists from every research tradition agree that scholars cannot just assert their conclusions, but must also share their evidentiary basis and explain how they were reached. Yet practice has not always followed this principle. Most forms of qualitative empirical inquiry have taken a minimalist approach to openness, providing only limited information about the research process, and little or no access to the data underpinning findings. What scholars do when conducting research, how they generate data, and how they make interpretations or draw inferences on the basis of those data, are rarely addressed at length in their published research. Even in book-length monographs which have an extended preface and footnotes, it can sometimes take considerable detective work to piece together a picture of how authors arrived at their conclusions.

Symposium: Openness in Political Science
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2014 

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