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What is ATI?

Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI) is a new tool designed to facilitate transparency in qualitative and mixed-methods research. It allows scholars to “annotate” specific passages in an article with additional information explaining how they generated and analysed their data, along with links to a wide variety of underlying data sources. These annotations are displayed alongside their articles on the publisher’s website, with pinpoint linking to the relevant sections of text. 

Why are we using ATI?

Because rigorous social science requires open data and materials. 

In qualitative and mixed-methods research, rich qualitative data sets are often analysed and deployed individually or in small groups; and data, analysis, and conclusions are densely interwoven across the span of a publication. By employing ATI, authors are able to show the data and analysis on which their research is based alongside the main text, therefore enhancing their scholarship and facilitating deeper understanding and evaluation for the reader.

ATI annotation diagram

How to access ATI:

The tool has been integrated with the Core Reader (HTML) versions of articles, so viewing the annotations does not require installing any software. To view the annotations you simply need to click the small arrow symbol in the top right hand corner of the article to expand the side bar. From here you can easily navigate through the comments and see which section of the article the annotations relate to.

About the pilot:

ATI has been created in collaboration with the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) at Syracuse University and the non-profit software company Hypothesis. We have initially entered a pilot phase of the project and have added ATI to nine articles on Cambridge Core. The articles selected hail from various disciplines, including political science, international relations, socio-linguistics, healthcare, and bioethics and showcase some of the diverse uses to which ATI can be put. 

The articles included are:

Perceptions of Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care Settings towards Sub-Saharan African Migrant Women Living with Hiv/Aids in Belgium: A Qualitative Study. Agnes Arrey, Ebotabe, Johan Bilsen, Patrick Lacor, and Reginald Deschepper, Journal of Biosocial Science (2017)

Demand for Law and the Security of Property Rights: The Case of Post-Soviet Russia. Jordan Gans-Morse, American Political Science Review (2017)

An Empirically Informed Analysis of the Ethical Issues Surrounding Split Liver Transplantation in the United Kingdom. Greg Moorlock, James Neuberger, Simon Bramhall, and Heather Draper, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2016)

Making the Real: Rhetorical Adduction and the Bangladesh Liberation War. Joseph O'Mahoney, International Organization (2017)

The Territorial Expansion of the Colonial State: Evidence from German East Africa 1890–1909.Jan Pierskalla, Alexander De Juan, and Max Montgomery, British Journal of Political Science (2017)

Covenants without the Sword? Comparing Prison Self-Governance Globally. David Skarbek, American Political Science Review (2016)

The Unstoppable Glottal: Tracking Rapid Change in an Iconic British Variable. Jennifer Smith and Sophie Holmes-Elliott, English Language & Linguistics (2017)

Visual Regimes and the Politics of War Experience: Rewriting War ‘from above’ in WikiLeaks’ ‘Collateral Murder. Joanna Tidy, Review of International Studies (2017)

Defending Hierarchy from the Moon to the Indian Ocean: Symbolic Capital and Political Dominance in Early Modern China and the Cold War. Paul Musgrave and Daniel H. Nexon, International Organization (2018)

Next steps:

You can read more about ATI’s foundations and goals on the Why ATI? page of the QDR website. 


We are delighted to announce Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI), has been shortlisted for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing. The ATI entry was selected along with five other finalists out of 45 submissions, a new record for the ALPSP Awards.

Click here to learn more about the nomination and award.