There is a petition to “Delay DA-RT Implementation.” I have signed it, as have (as of right now) hundreds of political scientists, many of whom are colleagues and friends.
A problem with petitions in general, though, is that people sign them for many reasons. I always struggle with petitions that have multiple demands or complaints, and this is no exception. I do think that the appropriate guidelines for data access and transparency deserve wider disciplinary discussion, though. And while I think the DA-RT statement is 100% clear that sensitive and/or protected research can be protected…
If cited data are restricted (e.g., classified, require confidentiality protections, were obtained under a non-disclosure agreement, or have inherent logistical constraints), authors must notify the editor at the time of submission. The editor shall have full discretion to follow their journal’s policy on restricted data, including declining to review the manuscript or granting an exemption with or without conditions. The editor shall inform the author of that decision prior to review.
…I do worry about the incentives that such a policy may have. Such as, for example, thoughtless position-taking on the methods wars, leading people to argue bizarre things like
unlike quantitative methods, qualitative methods put the analytical process right up front, in the written piece. Qualitative scholarship already has analytical transparency and, insofar as it is possible, reproducibility.
The idea that clarity or transparency is an inherent property of a methodology is completely unfounded, which is exactly why current debates about things like active citation exist in the first place.
I sign the position to encourage us all to get DA-RT right, to ensure that we have a hearing of the balance of costs and benefits. There is a view out there that the requirements of transparency would produce a neopositivist straightjacket, which I think is only true if you insist on it being so. I find myself, on balance, agreeing with the part of Jeffrey Isaac that welcomes deliberation and debate and is skeptical that there is a single model out there that is appropriate for all research endeavors.
I am not at all convinced, though, with the bigger claim in that piece by Isaacs, that being concerned about replication and transparency amounts to an aspiration to “put some more science into political science so we can science the science.” I see concern as more mundane: let’s make sure that when we publish things that rest on factual claims, we can check them, if at all possible. As for why Isaac and so many others hold this to be inconsistent with the
value of publicity and of vigorous intellectual engagement – within our scholarly community, among and between diverse scholarly communities, and between the academic world and the broader public world,
well, I am not so sure. But to be abundantly clear, I welcome that discussion, and I think we need it.