ReproducibiliTea Blog

Skills training for Open Science: impact and rewards of working with Edinburgh Carpentries

On our last Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea session, Edward Wallace  -PI of the Wallace Lab– shared the benefits of working with Edinburgh Carpentries. Here are some of the key points which have been discussed:

Dr. Wallace argued that all researchers need to learn how to analyse their data reproducibly, reliably and efficiently, regardless of which career stage they are at. 

Researchers need some foundational skills like coding, data science and project organisation in order to practice open science. However, the many of the group leaders, Postdocs, PhD students and RAs across the university stated that they do not have formal training in computing (45%) or statistics (35%) at all. This, says Dr. Wallace, was one of the main reasons to work with the Carpentries for him.

The Carpentries relies on the open community, ethos and pedagogical drive. Here, all the resources are developed by volunteers on GitHub and learning as well as teaching is well structured.

One very important reason to get involved with the Edinburgh Carpentries is that the funding bodies are interested in open science as much as the researchers. For instance, UKRI-BBSRC plans to “take actions to increase the capacity in computational skills within the biosciences”. In fact, Edinburgh Carpentries is now funded by UKRI for two years to expand their trainings.

In the session, Dr. Wallace informed us that the Edinburgh Carpentries are currently developing new teaching materials for statistics, FAIR principles and data management and data science computing with reproducible workflows. In one of these workshops, the instructors are teaching some skills that can save a lot of time and improve your work, such as how to organise and document your code efficiently which is also discussed in the “Good Enough Practices in Scientific Computing”. 

Edinburgh Carpentries is a community that is growing every day and is in need for more instructors. Some of the benefits of getting involved with the community is that;

  • You can get better at coding and teaching
  • The training helps to get funding and
  • You will be a part of a nice, supportive community. 

Many of our attendees seemed to be interested in participating the Edinburgh Carpentries and thinking of ways to engage their own labs in open research. To receive updates about EdCarp workshops and/or sign up as an Instructor and/or Helper for Edinburgh Carpentries you can sign up to the Edinburgh Carpentries mailing list. If you would like to help Dr. Wallace and his colleagues in developing workshop on FAIR practices in biosciences (and be paid for that), please email them at

This blog was written by Bengü Kalo

Find the resources discussed in this session:

Wallace Lab 
Example open source coding from the Wallace Lab 

Edinburgh Carpentries mailing list to receive updates about EdCarp workshops and/or sign up as an Instructor and/or Helper for Edinburgh Carpentries

Wilson (2016) Software Carpentry: Lessons Learned  

Edinburgh-based Coding Club:  

Mailing List of the Coding Club

Edinburgh RT YouTube Channel

Edinburgh RT OSF page

Edinburgh RT Mailing List

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