Open Access: New Gold Old Standard Established For Open And Reproducible Research
From the University of Cambridge:
A group of Cambridge computer scientists have set a new gold standard for openness and reproducibility in research by sharing the more than 200GB of data and 20,000 lines of code behind their latest results – an unprecedented degree of openness in a peer-reviewed publication. The researchers hope that this new gold standard will be adopted by other fields, increasing the reliability of research results, especially for work which is publicly funded.
The researchers are presenting their results at a talk today (4 May) at the 12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI) in Oakland, California.
“Open access isn’t as open as you think, especially when there are corporate interests involved,” said Matthew Grosvenor, a PhD student from the University’s Computer Laboratory, and the paper’s lead author. “Due to commercial sensitivities, corporations are reluctant to make their code and data sets available when they publish in peer-reviewed journals. But without the code or data sets, the results are irrelevant – we can’t know whether an experiment is the same if we try to recreate it.”
With their most recent publication, Grosvenor and his colleagues have gone several steps beyond typical open access standards – setting a new gold standard for open and reproducible research. All of the experimental figures and tables in the award-winning final version of their paper, which describes a new method of making data centres more efficient, are clickable.
By clicking on any of the figures or tables in the paper, readers are taken to a website where the researchers have produced technically detailed descriptions of the methods for every one of their experiments. These descriptions include the original data sets and tools that were used to produce the figures as well as free and open source access to all of the source code that they wrote and modified.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.