DART (Political Science)

DART is an acronym which stands for “Data Access and Research Transparency”.  DART has become something of a flashpoint as several fields of Political Science have become more empirically oriented over the years.  It speaks to the need for “Data” which constitutes the basis of published papers to be first understood and second vetted for accuracy by others in the field.

One of the defining characteristics of any science is the ability of researchers to throughly understand a study (or expeiment), and also to have the ability to replicate the study (or experiment).  Both of these goals often require access to the underlying data which is incorporated into the original work.  For reasons ranging from privacy issues to the wishes of researchers to maintain control over data, there have been instances when data has not been shared between research teams leading to controversy and issues of trustworthness.  As a response to this the APSA has issued “A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science” to address these issues.  However many in the field have criticized the guidelines as not going far enough towards mandating the sharing of information.


Further reading, Dialog on DART