Open Science

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What is Open Science?

Open Science can apply to any stage of the research process: keeping code and data freely available, openly sharing ideas and hypotheses among academics, and publishing in open-access journals.

Seems time consuming, and risky. Why should we do it?

At the very least, open science practices ensure that research is reproducible and robust, and can be accessed by any individual, anywhere in the world.

At its best,  open science helps advance science by facilitating rapid communication of results and sharing of statistical methods, data, and ideas. Researchers who publish in open-access journals and release their code and data generally benefit from higher citation rates and a greater impact of their work, and are also likely to have greater future opportunities for collaboration and employment.

For more reasons for switching to open practices, check out McKiernan et al. (2016) and their fantastic paper on How open science helps researchers succeed.

My Open Science approach

I strive to follow Open Science principles at every stage of my research, and aim to collaborate and publish research following an open science framework.

  1. I use Github to share code and data, collaborate between researchers, and publish scripts to accompany publications
  2. I use RStudio and Rmarkdown to create reproducible reports and manuscripts
  3. I use PeerJ to publish preprints and ResearchGate to host open-access copies of published manuscripts

Macroecological research is typically highly collaborative, involving sophisticated statistical analyses of large observational datasets. Several projects that I have been involved with provide examples of best-practice methods for ecologists, and we have made our statistical tools publicly available for use through Github.

In the Baum lab, I am leading efforts to switch our research to a higher standard of open science by collaborating in Github, writing manuscripts in R-markdown, and releasing all code with publications. Follow our progress at github.com/baumlab.

Check here for recent posts on Open Science projects.