We are very excited to announce that Odum has been awarded $500,000 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a three-year grant project, Confirmable Reproducible Research (CoRe2) Environment: Linking Tools to Promote Computational Reproducibility.
Principal investigator Jonathan Crabtree, assistant director of cyberinfrastructure, and Co-PI Thu-Mai Christian, assistant director for archives, will be building off previous work to create a computational environment for automating scientific verification and research replication workflows.
As part of a previous project funded by Sloan, The Odum Institute developed and evaluated a data curation and verification workflow. That workflow has been adopted by the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS), and used to curate and verify data, software code, and associated research materials for 140 published AJPS articles.
Of those, 131 (94%) had to be resubmitted due to problems with submitted materials.
The verification process, while extremely important, is time-consuming and costly. With the container-enabled CoRe2 environment, researchers will be able to run the workflow and receive feedback automatically, lifting the burden of implementing the process manually or sending it to someone else to do so.
CoRe2 will be linked to UNC Dataverse, an open source digital repository operated by the Odum Institute. Researchers will be able to use Dataverse in conjunction with CoRe2 to run deposited code against a submitted dataset and compare results to those in the manuscript.
From there they will receive a report, tools to diagnose/correct errors, and an option to deposit pre-verified replication workflows back into the CoRe2 environment for final approval by a data curator prior to publication.
The main goal of the project is to make these verification tools cost-effective and easily accessible, so journals may implement and enforce more rigorous data policies. This will oblige researchers to in turn adopt more transparent practices and promote reproducible research of the highest quality and integrity throughout the scientific community.