REPRODUCIBLE RESEARCH

 

PURPOSE

Insight Statistics adheres to principles of reproducible research. This helps ensure scientific integrity and increase efficiency.

 

EXAMPLE

With reproducible research, we add code to research publications and reports. Typically, a single line of very simple code is added for each table or figure at the appropriate point in the text. Each line of code references a program that produces a table or figure. The process is very much like writing "Insert table here" or "Insert figure here".  A click of a button compiles the research publication or report. The code for creating each table or figure is run, each table or figure is automatically inserted in the correct location, and a research publication or report is output. Formatting instructions are specified beforehand. So the formatting of the research publication or report is also automatic.

 

BENEFITS

A system of reproducible research dynamically links data, code, output, and scientific reporting. This makes the research process self-documenting. It creates a record of exactly what software environment was used to generate the results, what code was used, what data were used, how the data were analyzed, and how the outputs were produced. Tools for reproducible research also can be used to document the thought process that took place and the changes that were made as the research unfolded. When combined with clearly-written and well-documented code, a reproducible research process makes it easy to replicate and verify scientific findings. It also enhances efficiency by providing a clear structure and set of processes and by making it much easier and quicker to change an analysis or update an analysis using new data.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Insight Statistics uses several tools to conduct reproducible research. These include R, RStudio, and markup languages. An R package called knitr is used to connect R-based analyses to high-quality presentation documents. These documents are generated in Portable Document Format (PDF) using markup languages such as LaTeX and Markdown. A similar process can be used to generate documents in word processing software like Microsoft Word.