What are the best practices in qualitative research design as they pertain to research transparency? Tim Büthe has recently co-chaired the steering committee to launch Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, a discussion platform approved by the American Political Science Association to help answer meta-questions in the social sciences like what the costs, risks, standards, and best practices are for achieving quality research transparency.
The Qualitative Transparency Deliberations, approved by more than 97% of the Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research section membership in an online vote, seek to advance political scientists' understandings of research transparency. In doing so, it allows for the possibility that these understandings may differ substantially across approaches, research context, or specific empirical methods. The deliberations also seeks to advance political scientists’ recognition of the costs/risks, benefits, and practicalities of research transparency in a differentiated manner, with due attention to the primacy of ethical obligations such as human subjects protection, and based on a broad understanding of “qualitative transparency” as explicitness about all aspects of our research that are neither strictly statistical/ econometric nor experimental (including, for instance, issues of conceptualization and measurement that underpin quantitative datasets). It aims to inform new and ongoing research, graduate training, as well as reviewers and editors by identifying current best practices while also encouraging innovation.