Debates about transparency standards in social science research often lack specificity, mischaracterize the status quo, or stress the value of replication. These debates frequently talk past each other and provide limited practical guidance for qualitative and multi-methods research. Focusing on text-based sources, we provide a review of qualitative research that identifies deficiencies in transparency practices, and advances a five-point framework for improving transparency premised on better specification of sources’ location, production, selection, analysis, and access. We next draw on a multi-year deliberative forum on qualitative transparency to identify researchers’ concerns about changing the status quo. We then showcase illustrative examples of enhanced transparency and conclude with recommendations for how to improve transparency practices for text-based sources. We argue that greater research transparency yields numerous benefits, including facilitating scholarly exchange, improving graduate training, and aiding knowledge cumulation. Rather than advancing replication, which may be undesirable for various qualitative research traditions, new transparency technologies are promising because they allow authors to more easily provide additional context, present complexity, and unpack relevant contradictions about politics.