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Transparency in Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: A Symposium

Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association's QMMR Section vol.13 no.1 (Spring 2015): 2-64.

64 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2015  

Tim Buthe

Duke University - Department of Political Science

Alan M. Jacobs

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Erik Bleich

Middlebury College

Robert Pekkanen

University of Washington

Marc Trachtenberg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Katherine Cramer

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Victor Shih

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Global Policy & Strategy, 21st Century China Center

Sarah Elizabeth Parkinson

University of Minnesota - Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Elisabeth Jean Wood

Yale University; Santa Fe Institute

Timothy Pachirat

University of Massachusetts Amherst

David Romney

Harvard University

Brandon Stewart

Princeton University - Department of Sociology

Dustin H. Tingley

Harvard University - Department of Government

Andrew Davison

Vassar College

Carsten Q. Schneider

Central European University (CEU)

Claudius Wagemann

Goethe University Frankfurt

Tasha Fairfield

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: August 27, 2015

Abstract

Research transparency has become a prominent issue across the social as well as the natural sciences. In the broad sense of providing a clear and reliable account of sources and an explicit account of how a scholar has gone about the analysis to arrive at his or her conclusions, transparency is central to the integrity and interpretability of research. But what does living up to this ideal of research transparency require in practice? What exactly do social scientists most need to be transparent about? How can greater research transparency be achieved concretely without undue costs? How does the meaning of transparency differ across research traditions grounded in differing epistemological or ontological assumptions? And are there limits? What is appropriate when the norm of research transparency conflicts with other professional norms, in particular the postulates of research ethics? The contributors to this symposium address these questions from the perspective of a wide range of research traditions, characterized by the type of evidence, such as interviews (Bleich & Pekkanen) or written sources (Trachtenberg); the context of, or epistemological position in field research (Cramer, Shih, Parkinson & Wood, Pachirat); and a variety of analytical approaches, including computerized textual analysis (Romney, Stewart & Tingley), qualitative comparative analysis (Wagemann & Schneider), hermeutics (Davison), and process tracing (Fairfield). In their concluding essay, the editors, Büthe & Jacobs, identify important areas of agreement about the goals and meaning of transparency and illuminate the structure and sources of key disagreements. They also reflect on broader implications, offering some additional suggestions for advancing research integrity, intellectual pluralism, and research ethics jointly. This symposium was published in Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research, the newsletter of the American Political Science Association's QMMR section, edited by Tim Büthe and Alan M. Jacobs with additional support from the Consortium of Qualitative and Multi-Method Research.

Keywords: research transparency, research integrity, research ethics, methodology, epistemology

JEL Classification: B00

Suggested Citation

Buthe, Tim and Jacobs, Alan M. and Bleich, Erik and Pekkanen, Robert and Trachtenberg, Marc and Cramer, Katherine and Shih, Victor and Parkinson, Sarah Elizabeth and Wood, Elisabeth Jean and Pachirat, Timothy and Romney, David and Stewart, Brandon and Tingley, Dustin H. and Davison, Andrew and Schneider, Carsten Q. and Wagemann, Claudius and Fairfield, Tasha, Transparency in Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: A Symposium (August 27, 2015). Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association's QMMR Section vol.13 no.1 (Spring 2015): 2-64.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652097

Tim Buthe (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
(919) 660-4365 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.buthe.info

Alan M. Jacobs

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada
604-822-6830 (Phone)

Erik Bleich

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

Robert Pekkanen

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Marc Trachtenberg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Katherine Cramer

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Victor Shih

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Global Policy & Strategy, 21st Century China Center ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive #0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Sarah Elizabeth Parkinson

University of Minnesota - Humphrey School of Public Affairs ( email )

130 Humphrey School, 301 19th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Elisabeth Jean Wood

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Santa Fe Institute

1399 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States

Timothy Pachirat

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Operations and Information Managemen
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

David Romney

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brandon Stewart

Princeton University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Princeton, NJ
United States

Dustin H. Tingley

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrew Davison

Vassar College ( email )

124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
United States

Carsten Q. Schneider

Central European University (CEU) ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

Claudius Wagemann

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Tasha Fairfield

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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