For background on DA-RT, see Jarod Hayes’ post at the Duck of Minerva, as well as John Patty’s response to the petition to delay implementation (as well as its related website) and Jeffrey Isaac’s response to Patty and Isaac’s latest post. Roundups and responses abound.
I drafted a longer piece on DA-RT, but now realize that I will probably never finish it. So, instead, some brief comments:
- I have neither signed the DA-RT Journal Editors’ Statement (JETS), nor the acronym-challenged petition to delay it’s implementation. My basic reasons are straightforward. The journal that I edit, International Studies Quarterly, is a publication of the International Studies Association (ISA). Given the structure of the ISA, I do not believe that I enjoy the authority to make this kind of decision—although I should note that my view is not universally shared among ISA journal editors. ISA does have a replication policy that ISQ follows, but it currently only extends to the archiving of statistical materials. ISQ will follow whatever transparency policy the ISA deems appropriate for its journals.
The dynamics of the DA-RT dispute share some similarity to those associated with “wedge issues.” That is, it “divide[s] [political scientists] through code words [and] labeling” in ways I find deeply troubling.
- Participants in the debate over DA-RT need to make sure that they cultivate, or continue to display, intellectual empathy. In other words, opposition to DA-RT standards does not make you an opponent of social science understood correctly. Support for DA-RT standards does not make you a methodological puritan.
But the controversy does provide some people who hold these beliefs the opportunity to express them in unhelpful ways (cf. “wedge issue”).
This is particularly problematic, because there’s nothing wrong with agonistic and intense exchange on the issues.