Evidence from Researcher Interactions with Human Participants
American Political Science Association Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, Working Group Final Reports, Report II.2 (December 2018)
27 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 12, 2019
This document is the report of Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD) Working Group II.2 on Evidence from Researcher Interactions with Human Participants. We examine how transparency is understood by scholars who regularly engage with human subjects; assess the benefits and costs of transparency practices for evidence from research with human participants; and present practical recommendations for researchers, editors, reviewers, and funders. Our findings draw on contributions posted to the QTD online forum, offline consultations with scholars from across the discipline, and related published materials. We find broad support for the principle of transparency among scholars working with human research participants, but our consultations also make clear that the meaning of transparency should be understood as part of research integrity writ large. The scholars we consulted were nearly unanimous in emphasizing the importance of openness and explicitness – e.g., by specifying how information from human subjects research is collected and analyzed or interpreted – for the integrity of the research enterprise. Transparency requirements must be weighed against the ethical obligation to protect human subjects, the epistemological diversity within the discipline, and the workload imposed on researchers using qualitative data.
Keywords: qualitative methods, research transparency, human subjects, interviews, ethnography, Qualitative Transparency Deliberations
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