In October 2016 Laura Fortunato launched Reproducible Research Oxford, a project based at the School of Anthropology and the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), funded by the IT Innovation Challenges Fund and the Social Sciences Division. Laura leads a team of researchers and staff who are passionate about research reproducibility and open research. Project team members are based in units across the University.
The project aims to lay the groundwork for a culture of research reproducibility at the University, focusing on training in the effective use of computational tools in research. These tools are widely used in some disciplines, and they can enable researchers to easily track the process leading from data to results, so that it is fully reproducible. However, researchers often lack the opportunities, incentives, and confidence to make best use of these tools.
To address this issue, as part of the project Laura set up a partnership with Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, non-profit volunteer organisations focused on teaching researchers across disciplines the computing and data skills they need for effective and reproducible research. Two Software Carpentry workshops were run in Hilary Term 2016, one in January and one March, providing training to over 50 learners from across the University.
In March, Reproducible Research Oxford hosted the first Oxford-based Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry instructor training. As a result, 11 Oxford-based trainee instructors join a small cohort of instructors already based at Oxford, and they will be able to deliver training at future workshops, in an effort to build local capacity in the area of research reproducibility and open research.
See the project website and follow us on Twitter @RR_Oxford to find out more about the project, our past and future events, and how to get involved. Email us at ReproducibleResearchOxford@gmail.com to get in touch.