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CamGuides: Managing your Study Resources

What does it mean to work reproducibly?

If you want to allow someone else to reproduce your work (perhaps they want to use the same methodology that you used for your survey or analysis), then you need to think carefully about the implications for this.

four seagulls in a lineIn order for your work to be reproducible you need to be able to give another person all the information (and potentially tools) they need to recreate the work you have carried out. This means that you are providing them with the evidence that your work has been carried out correctly and they can be reassured about the integrity of your work. 

What kind of things are needed to make my work reproducible?

When carrying out your research you should aim to make the following things clear:

  • How did you collect or generate the data or evidence you are using in your research? What was your methodology?
  • How you processed your work with a computer. What software did you use, can you provide the code you used to analyse your data, did you transform your data in other ways?
  • What statistics did you use to analyse your data? You should give details of the parameters and threshold values used.
  • What and where is your data? Ideally, you would share the data that supports your research alongside all the information above, however, there are always good reasons why that might not be possible, such as the data containing sensitive information.

Where can I find more information about how to work reproducibly?

Florian Markowetz has written an excellent article entitled Five selfish reasons to work reproducibly. This amusing yet serious article gives great advice about how working reproducibly will help your career. 

The Turing Way is a guide to researching reproducibly, written by a community of people working in research. Its aim is “to provide all the information that researchers need at the start of their projects to ensure that they are easy to reproduce at the end”. 

The University of California Berkeley has a Library Guide on reproducible research with a list of useful resources that you could use to aid reproducibility in your own research. 

The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) brings together researchers who are passionate about reproducible research and aims to ensure there is coordination across all UK research institutions in advancing the reproducibility agenda. 

Image credit

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

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