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Interdisciplinary Research

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:42 pm
by Antje.Wiener
Following up on the previous posts, let me address a particular concern about the future of interdisciplinary research tools applied by Political Scientists.

As most political scientists are well aware, cutting-edge research in the field often includes peering across the boundaries of PoliSci towards other disciplines. In international relations theory (IR) these disciplines include International Law, Ethno-methodology, Legal Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology among others. All operate with distinct methodological approaches which offer a wealth of expertise for empirical research, especially with regard to qualitative research methods.

(1) Qualitative research methods that are most substantially developed by anthropologists require carrying a field diary to note core networks, human resources, experiences with interviewing, comments regarding future interviewees and interview notes. Regularly, a research 'diary' is used as a tool that works as a prelude to obtain primary resources. These notes should not and cannot be included for public view as they contain the ‘anthropological intelligence’ that is enabling primary data generation. They are not data themselves. Potential implications of DA-RT therefore include a serious challenge for interdisciplinarity.
• Consider historiographical methods, compare the field of trauma studies and emotions;
• Legal research that usually operates with sensitive data; and so on.

(2) The new regulations insert a threshold for publications of new research results that are generated by applying and advancing qualitative and/or interdisciplinary research methods. A possible consequence of DA-RT is a disciplinary split between two groups of journals, i.e. those that implement the new 'transparency' regulations and those that do not. As founding editor of an international interdisciplinary journal (Global Constitutionalism, CUP since 2012) that applies double-blind peer-review on a 50/50 basis i.e. including referee reports from both legal scholars and political scientists, I have discussed the DA-RT details with my co-editors and the consensus is that DA-RT is inappropriate for the interdisciplinary research GlobCon aims to publish. Other editors have taken the same decision.
What does this imply for non-tenured scholars, what for the development of the field?

(3) An important issue for journal editors is the question of access to storage space: who has access, what are the costs? Journals would require additional storage space on the web to create additional space for their respective “dataverse” (DA-RT Initiative), APSR guidelines list “Data-PASS” and the APSR’s own “online appendices (housed with Cambridge University Press)”. Compare the 'Active Citation’ approach (Moravcsik (2014, 1); Moravcsik, Elman and Kapiszewski 2013: A Guide to Active Citation. Version 1.5 for Pilot Projects, University of Syracuse, PDF available at: ... 0_2013.pdf (accessed on 28 March 2016)