January 19, 2022

eLife and Stencila Announce Next Phase of Development for Executable Research Articles (ERA)

From ELife:

eLife, in collaboration with Stencila, is pleased to announce today the next phase of development for the Executable Research Article (ERA), bringing computationally reproducible research papers to more authors and publishers.

The organisations have partnered on the open-source ERA project since 2017, taking it from the idea stage through to demonstration and, within the last six months, into production at eLife. The project, which allows authors to enrich their work with interactive code and data, has received substantial interest from researchers, publishers and the broader scientific community. To date, six ERAs have been published in eLife, with more in the pipeline. eLife and Stencila have now extended their partnership to bring about the next phase of ERA’s development in 2021.

Their work will involve six individual streams of feature development, all focused on reducing barriers to the authoring and publication of ERAs based on user feedback and lessons learned from the project over the last three years. The aim is to further enhance the ERA technology stack to serve a wider variety of author and publisher use cases, including increasing the speed and scalability of ERA publication.

New developments will include allowing authors to convert, execute and preview ERAs offline. eLife and Stencila will create a package that makes it easier and faster for authors to preview ERAs in their local environment, before uploading the finished product to Stencila Hub for eventual submission to a journal, preprint server or self-hosted website. Additionally, authors will soon be able to edit their ERAs offline.


The new publishing format is already being adopted beyond eLife, with GigaScience Press and River Valley Technologies recently launching their first ERA in the scientific journal, GigaByte. The newly published article, which describes a new immunoinformatics tool called epitopepredict, leverages ERAs’ capabilities to present interactive examples of the tool’s application to the study of coronavirus immunity.


Read the full announcement from GigaScience Press about the launch of its first ERA, ‘epitopepredict: a tool for integrated MHC binding prediction’, see http://gigasciencejournal.com/blog/gigabyte-executable-research-articles.

The ERA is available to view on Stencila

Learn More, Read the Complete eLife Announcement

See Also: Announcing the Next Phase of Executable Research Articles (via eLife)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.