2012 DA-RT Ethics Guide Changes

 

In 2012, the APSA Council approved the following changes to the Ethics Guide. For more about how these changes were produced see Lupia and Elman (2014)

 

6. Researchers have an ethical obligation to facilitate the evaluation of their evidence based knowledge claims through data access, production transparency, and analytic transparency so that their work can be tested or replicated.

 

6.1 Data access: Researchers making evidence-based knowledge claims should reference the data they used to make those claims. If these are data they themselves generated or collected, researchers should provide access to those data or explain why they cannot.

 

6.2 Production transparency: Researchers providing access to data they themselves generated or collected, should offer a full account of the procedures used to collect or generate the data.

 

6.3 Analytic Transparency: Researchers making evidence-based knowledge claims should provide a full account of how they draw their analytic conclusions from the data, i.e., clearly explicate the links connecting data to conclusions.

 

6.4 Scholars may be exempted from Data Access and Production Transparency in order to (A) address well-founded privacy and confidentiality concerns, including abiding by relevant human subjects regulation; and/or (B) comply with relevant and applicable laws, including copyright. Decisions to withhold data and a full account of the procedures used to collect or generate them should be made in good faith and on reasonable grounds. Researchers must, however, exercise appropriate restraint in making claims as to the confidential nature of their sources, and resolve all reasonable doubts in favor of full disclosure.

 

6.5 Dependent upon how and where data are stored, access may involve additional costs to the requesting researcher.

 

6.6 Researchers who collect or generate data have the right to use those data first. Hence, scholars may postpone data access and production transparency for one year after publication of evidence-based knowledge claims relying on those data, or such period as may be specified by (1) the journal or press publishing the claims, or (2) the funding agency supporting the research through which the data were generated or collected.

 

6.7 Nothing in this section shall require researchers to transfer ownership or other proprietary rights they may have.

 

6.8 As citizens, researchers have an obligation to cooperate with grand juries, other law enforcement agencies, and institutional officials. Conversely, researchers also have a professional duty not to divulge the identity of confidential sources of information or data developed in the course of research, whether to governmental or non-governmental officials or bodies, even though in the present state of American law they run the risk of suffering an applicable penalty.

 

6.9 Where evidence-based knowledge claims are challenged, those challenges are to be specific rather than generalized or vague. Challengers are themselves in the status of authors in connection with the statements that they make, and therefore bear the same responsibilities regarding data access, production transparency, and analytic transparency as other authors.