ReproducibiliTea Blog

Open Research Across Disciplines | 16/12/22 | Emma Wilson

In our December session of Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea, Emma Wilson presented a session on open research practices across disciplines. Emma is a PhD student at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

The session was focused on the UK Reproducibility’s list of open research case studies, examples, and resources for various research disciplines:

The list of resources can be cited as follows:

Farran EK, Silverstein P, Ameen AA, Misheva I, & Gilmore C. 2020. Open Research: Examples of good practice, and resources across disciplines.

What is open research?

Open research is all about making research practices and findings more transparent and accessible. The University of Edinburgh defines open research as “research conducted and published via a combination of two or more of the following attributes:

  • Open Access publication
  • Open research data
  • Open source software and code
  • Open notebooks
  • Open infrastructure
  • Pre-registration of studies

We use the term open research instead of open science as it is more inclusive of the broad spectrum of work that takes place at the University.

Open research across disciplines resource

The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) have produced a document and webpage with examples of open research practices across different research disciplines. The document is updated over autumn and was last updated in October 2022.

The resource covers 28 disciplines from Archaeology & Classics to Veterinary Science. New resources can be added to the collection via this Google Form.

Examples of open research across different disciplines

Emma chose a few example resources to talk about in her presentation.

Art & Design: Open Access at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art have an open access policy for public domain artworks. You can search and download over 50,000 artworks on their website, and they have made a dataset of information on over 130,000 artists and artworks available on GitHub.

Artificial Intelligence: recommendations on creating reproducible AI

In 2018, Gundersen, Gil and Aha published an article describing recommendations on creating reproducible artificial intelligence.

Economics: case study from a PhD student

Dr Marcello De Maria, a graduate from the University of Reading, describes the benefits of open research within economics.

Engineering: open source 3D printing toolkit

Slic3r is an open source software that allows anyone to convert 3D models into printing instructions for a 3D printer. They have a large GitHub community involved in creating and maintaining code and take pride in the fact that the provide resource for free to the community.

Music, Drama and Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies: podcast on making music research open

Alexander Jensenius, Associate Professor at the Department of Musicology – Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion (IMV) at the University of Oslo, discusses open research within the context of music research in a podcast hosted by the University Library at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. He also discusses MusicLab, an event-based project which aims to collect data during musical performances and analyse it on the fly.

Physics: citizen science project case study

In this case study, Professor Chris Scott, Dr Luke Barnard, and Shannon Jones discuss a citizen science project they ran on the online platform Zoonverse. Their project focused on analysing images of solar storms and four thousand members of the public took part.

Barriers to open research

In the final section of her presentation, Emma then discussed some of the barriers that may prevent researchers from working openly. These included:

  • Funding and finances (e.g. to pay open access publishing fees)
  • Time and priorities (e.g. time required to learn new skills, and supervisor / lab cultures around open research practices)

Finally, the session closed with a discussion around the implementation of open research in different disciplines, and whether all researchers and disciplines should be judged the same when it comes to this implementation.

The slides for Emma’s talk are available on our OSF page and the session recording is available on YouTube.

This blog is written by Emma Wilson


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