Articles reporting research on Latin American social movements are only rarely transparent
SourceSocial Movement Studies, 17, 6, (2018), pp. 736-748
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Social Movement Studies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Social movement scholars often want their research to make a difference beyond the academy. Readers will either read reports directly or they will read reviews that aggregate findings across a number of reports. In either case, readers must find reports to be credible before they will take their findings seriously. While it is not possible to predict the indicators of credibility used by individual, direct readers, formal systems of review do explicate indicators that determine whether a report will be recognized as credible for review. One such indicator, also relevant to pre-publication peer review, is methodological transparency: the extent to which readers are able to detect how research was done and why that made sense. This paper tests published primary research articles on and for social movements in Latin America for compliance with a generous interpretation of methodological transparency. We find that, for the most part, articles are not methodologically transparent. If transparency matters to social movement scholars, the research community may wish to formalize discussions of what aspects of research should be reported and how those reports should be structured.
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