Now’s Not the Time! Qualitative Data Repositories on Tricky Ground: Comment on DuBois et al. (2018)

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In this commentary, I reflect on DuBois, Strait, and Walsh’s (2018) provocation, the call for qualitative researchers to ponder the benefits and disadvantages of sharing our data from the standpoint of a Black womanist, a practitioner of decolonial participatory action research, and an ethicist. I begin with a brief defense of critical reflectivity, which is much more than a disclosing practice of qualitative research. Critical reflexivity is a critique of liberalism, a decentering of “whitestream” epistemes, and a refusal of erasure. Working through three examples, I will (a) problematize the notion that funding policies should dictate the foci and direction of qualitative inquiry, (b) argue that positivist conceptions of replicability and validity are incommensurate with the relational analyses and radical solidarities participatory researchers strive to conurture, and (c) detail the few circumstances wherein I would be amenable to supporting the use of qualitative data repositories.

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