Reproducible ecology with ‘Open Derby’

I’m excited to announce the next stage of my open science project – ‘Open Derby’ – which aims to transition graduate students to conducting their research with an open workflow, showcase best practices for open ecology, and solve a minor (but important!) conservation issue.

Why do open ecology? Openness in science helps foster collaborations, increases research impact, ensures reproducibility of results, and makes publicly-funded research to publicly-available. Oh, and it also makes your life easier.

The idea is to gather graduate students and post-docs together to tackle a novel conservation problem, analysing open data and publishing their findings in an open access journal. By combining Github’s version control with R-markdown’s ability to integrate analyses with manuscript writing, the Derby research will be fully reproducible and publicly accessible.

I’m exploring how to run Open Derby with amazing Baum lab graduate guinea pigs at the University of Victoria (BC, Canada), while developing the idea for more general consumption with incredible leadership training from Mozilla’s science lab. You can read about the progress of the first UVic Derby on Dr. Jarrett Byrnes’ imachordata blog.

By August 2017, I aim to 1) produce a blueprint for Open Derby events for other science labs in different universities and 2) publish the first Open Derby product, which will provide a standard for open research. And, of course, the pioneer Derby participants will have fully transitioned into version controlling their data, collaborations, and theses!

Interested in running an Open Derby? Or have some ideas of your own? Please get in touch.

Also, thanks to the SFU E20 group, particularly Brett Favaro, for the original Research Derby idea.





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