Collaboration Workshop conference explores role of software in reproducible research

Kenji Takeda talks about reproducible research and the cloud at CW14. Photo: Tim Parkinson, CC-BY

The Collaboration Workshop (CW14), run by the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), brought together researchers, software developers, managers, funders and others to explore the role of software in reproducible research. The value of reproducible research is reinforced every time a paper is retracted because its results cannot be reproduced, or every time that promising academic research — such as pursuit of important new drugs — fails to meet the test of reproducibility.

The “unconference” format — where the agenda is driven by attendees’ participation — was perfect for exploring the many issues around reproducible research and software. Open access (OA) is making it easier to find research papers and Microsoft Research is committed to OA. Though it’s a good start, OA articles only contain words and pictures. What about the data, software, input parameters and everything else needed to reproduce the research?

Many CW14 participants stayed on for Hack Day. Ideas included scraping the Web to catalog scientific software citations, extending GitHub to natively visualize scientific data and assessing research code quality online.

To read more about CW14 and how Microsoft Research is supporting teams working on new approaches to scientific reproducibility as part of its Microsoft Azure for Research program, head over to the Microsoft Research Connections Blog.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff