Brandi Klingerman | March 13, 2017
The concept of reproducibility is vital when it comes to research, as it provides transparency and ensures clarity for findings. However, reproducibility is often difficult because investigators publish only their papers and not the data or other important aspects that support their results. Now, Notre Dame researchers at the Center for Research Computing (CRC) are developing several tools that can be used to save data, analytical methods, and processes so that these elements can be shared among the research community.
Jaroslaw (Jarek) Nabrzyski, director of the CRC, and his team are collaborating on a variety of projects that are tied to the concept of research reproducibility. The Data and Software Preservation for Open Science (DASPOS) project – a collective effort of several universities funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore the realization of viable data, software, and computation preservation architecture for High Energy Physics – is just one example of Nabrzyski’s collaborations.
In describing the DASPOS project, Nabrzyski said, “Our goal is to build tools that allow scientists to capture their workflow in a way that is not intrusive to their research process. This provides researchers with an outlet to preserve their experiments while maintaining focus on their work and allowing the project to be more easily reproduced in the future.”
Other tools supporting science reproducibility are being developed in the Whole Tale project. This NSF-funded project has brought together researchers from all over the country, including the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Texas at Austin, to develop building blocks for a data-sharing infrastructure. Nabrzyski and Ian Taylor, a research professor of Computer Science and Engineering and the CRC, are working with these groups to establish a repository that will again enable researchers to publish their papers along with the data and methods used in their experiments.