Category Archives: Qualitative Data

Replication and transparency in political science – have we made any progress?

When a range of top political science journals signed a statement to enforce transparency in 2014 (JETS statement), there was an immediate backlash by qualitative researchers. Hundreds of scholars signed a petition against strict transparency rules asking for clarification. Then the LaCour scandal happened, where a political scientist fabricated a study and pretended to withhold his data because of confidentially. Another wake-up call. Where is the debate in political science now?  Continue reading

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Balancing Ethics and Transparency (part II): publishing sensitive data

More and more funders and journals require data management plans and public access to all types of research data. At the same time, many researchers struggle to balance transparency against legal and ethical obligations. Following on part I of this blog post, what are some simple guidelines on how to share sensitive data?

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Balancing Ethics and Transparency (part I)

Many journals and funders have policies requiring research transparency before an article is accepted or a project is supported. At the same time, much of the work in the social sciences relies on sensitive data in surveys or interviews that could endanger privacy or the well-being of human subjects. How can scholars working with sensitive data ensure a degree of transparency that still protects privacy?

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Political Scientists Trying to Delay Research Transparency

A group of 625 political scientists signed a petition to delay the new APSA guidelines for transparency. They want to discuss the implications for qualitative data, hand-written field notes and confidential data first. I agree that practical discussions are necessary – but this should not be a reason to abandon the transparency guidelines.
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Replication & Reproducibility 2013: The best stories

replication_head_smWhen I started the Political Science Replication blog in early 2013, I mainly wanted to channel my frustration of authors not sharing their data into a blog. 12 months later, the debate on replication and reproducibility in the social sciences has moved towards a strong push for openness and transparency. Here are the best stories of 2013, including #overlyhonestmethods, Reinhart-Rogoff, and the replication initiatives in Psychology and Cancer research.
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I just published my qualitative data – 5 years after book publication

civil-religion-headQualitative data can be made available for replication. I have been advocating this by interviewing Todd Landman and Ingo Rohlfing on my blog. It suddenly occurred to me that I don’t have my own qualitative data published. They are now on the Dataverse. I admit that I had to dig deep in on my external hard drive to find them again.
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Reproducibility in qualitative research: “There is little awareness”

Reproducibility in qualitative research is not an accepted standard yet. While some researchers try to be transparent and might provide interview transcripts on request, most qualitative work is seldom checked and validated. I talked to political scientist Ingo Rohlfing, University of Cologne, about why reproducibility should not just be an issue for quantitative methods, and how case study researchers can make their data available.
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Sharing of qualitative data is possible, but the “volume of information is gigantic”, says Todd Landman

In the second part of our interview, political scientist Todd Landman (University of Essex) talks about how replication can be used in statistics training, how he administers his own data, why he is skeptical of replication as a dissertation, and how data sharing can work for qualitative researchers. (Read part I of the interview here)
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