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Karcher wins NSF grant to study transparency in qualitative research

April 28, 2020

Sebastian Karcher

Sebastian Karcher

Sebastian Karcher, associate director of the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) and research assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University, received a grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Empowering Open Law and Science Collaborative Research." Georgetown University’s Diana Kapiszewski is a co-principal investigator on this project and the proposal is a collaboration with Nic Weber, at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Karcher’s grant, which is initially for $81,588 and is expected to continue through 2022 for a total award of $269,640, will support the development and implementation of a new software tool to facilitate the use of Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI) among scholars using qualitative methods, especially in the area of law and social science. ATI helps increase the transparency of published qualitative and multi-methods social science by helping authors include annotations clarifying and explaining the evidence used within their analyses; and by directly linking to underlying primary sources, such as archival documents or interview transcripts. ATI helps other researchers as well as the general public better engage and evaluate qualitative research. Karcher, Kapiszewski, and Weber’s work will improve ATI by developing an open-source tool to streamline the creation and publication of such annotations, workshopping it with 20 legal scholars, and organizing an article symposium for publication in a legal studies journal.

QDR's central mission is to curate, publish, and preserve digital data arising from qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences. The Core Trust Seal-certified repository also develops and disseminates standards for managing, sharing, and reusing qualitative data, and pursuing research transparency.

Karcher received a doctoral degree in political science from Northwestern University. In his role at QDR, Karcher works on curating qualitative research data, research transparency, qualitative data management, and developing scholarly workflows and technologies related to these topics. He is also closely involved with, among others, the open-source scholarly projects Zotero and Citation Style Language, serving on the latter’s board.

Several examples of ATI are available on QDR’s website.


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