Reproducibility Methods

Designing a project starts by defining your research question and the methodology that will be used to answer this question. When thinking about the methodology is necessary to think about how to make your research open and reproducible:

  • How you are going to collect the data.

  • What analysis will be used.

  • Which tools and infrastructure are needed.

Choose a License

Getting a license is a crucial step in open research. Research does not have to be completed to be useful to others. Having a license is the way to communicate how do you want your research to be used and shared.

There are different types of licenses depending on the type of project and preferences for re-use and sharing. The choosealicense website has a good mechanism to help you pick a license.

To learn more about how to add a license to your project, read the Licensing chapter in the Guide for Reproducible Research.

Data Management Plan

The data collected in a research project have a longer lifespan than the research that creates it. Therefore, is necessary to consider how the data will be used, archived and shared. Creating a Data Management Plan (DMP) is a way to make important decisions about how to manage your data while providing others with information about it.

Read the chapter on DMP To learn about what should be included in a Data Management Plan. Comprehensive information on data management is available in the chapter Research Data Management.

Computational Reproducibility

Thinking about which software, tools and platforms to use will greatly affect how you analyse and process data, as well as how you share your results.

The idea is to facilitate others, and yourself, recreating the set-up process necessary to reproduce your research. Some tools that can be used to enable these are the following:

  • Dependency managers: these keep dependencies updated and make sure the same version of dependencies you used in the development environment are used when reproducing a result.

  • Containers: are a way to create environments that are isolated from other applications.

  • Notebooks: a useful online environment where you can execute your scripts, and easily add notes and additional information. The added advantage is that you won’t need to install anything.

To learn more about how to create a reproducible environment, the chapter on Reproducible Environments is a good place to start.

Documenting the Design of your Study

After you have decided how to collect your data, analyze it and which tools to use, a good way to document these decisions is by writing a Registered Report.

A Registered Report highlights the importance of the research question and the methods that will be used. They are peer-reviewed before the research, switching the focus of the review from the results to the substance of the research methods. You can find out more in our Chapter on Registered Reports.

Collaborating and Asking for Help

You don’t have to work alone. Having others collaborate with your project is the best way to improve the reproducibility and quality of your work.

If you don’t know where to start, a good place would be the Guide for Communication and the Guide for Collaboration.

Reference

Turkyilmaz-van der Velden, Y., Dintzner, N., Teperek, M., “Reproducibility Starts from You Today.” Patterns, vol. 1, no. 6, 11 Sept. 2020, p. 100099, doi:10.1016/j.patter.2020.100099. Read Online on Science Direct