Below is a list of reproducibility-related events happening in or around Oxford. At the bottom of this page you’ll also find some ongoing initiatives, as well as a list of past events. For each of our activities, please follow our Code of Conduct which relies on the UKRN Code of Conduct.
Discussion with Prof. Richard McElreath
We are excited to welcome Richard McElreath for a discussion on open research, open source software, and research software development on Monday 8 March, based on his recent lecture ‘Science as Amateur Software Development’. The event will be in two parts; feel free to join one or both!
Guest: Prof. Richard McElreath (Director of the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig; author of the book Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and STAN, CRC Press, 2020)
Lecture title: Science as Amateur Software Development (50 min video recording)
14:00-14:50 GMT: join our watch party (bandwidth permitting!) or watch on your own
14:50-15:00 GMT: break
15:00-15:45 GMT: join the discussion, hosted by Dr Laura Fortunato (Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford; Reproducible Research Oxford lead)
Of course, feel free to watch the recording at a different time that may suit your schedule, and then join us for the discussion on the day!
Please register to receive the Zoom link.
This meeting will have live captioning and will not be recorded.
Online Study Groups
In the coming months, we will run online study groups.
We continuously collate online training resources (feel free to use, share, and populate), and people among us have volunteered to organise study groups around some of those resources.
To join our community: please subscribe to our RROx mailing list. In your welcome email, you will be invited to our Slack workspace and then you will be able to choose to join any of the public channels described below and to create new ones!
ReproducibiliTea organised by the Oxford Experimental Psychology team (welcoming everyone from Oxford and beyond!) is resuming its journal club format and is available every week online! Sign up to the reproducibilitea mailing list or visit the ReproducibiliTea website. You can also continue the discussion over to the dedicated RROx Slack channel for ReproducibiliTea attendees.
Oxford Free(Libre) Open Source Software (OxFOSS) meetups is the result of a collaboration between researchers from RROx & Oxford Research Software Engineering (OxRSE) interested in software freedom. OxFOSS will organise informal virtual meetups/lunches to discuss an article or a presentation about current free software practices in academia, tools, ethics, etc. If you are interested, please subscribe to the OxFOSS mailing list!
Statistical Rethinking book club is meeting weekly to discuss the book Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian course by Richard McElreath (available as eBook through the Bodleian with Oxford SSO) and its associated online course recording. To participate in this group and get all the necessary information, join the dedicated RROx Slack channel.
Computer Skills book club is meeting every two weeks to discuss the book Computing skills for biologists by Stefano Allesina & Madlen Wilmes (available as eBook through the Bodleian with Oxford SSO) and its associated online exercises. Join the dedicated RROx Slack channel if interested!
More to come! And even more if you make a call for a new study group by creating another slack channel!
Online Book and Journal Clubs
To join our community: please subscribe to our RROx mailing list. In your welcome email, you will be invited to our Slack workspace and then you will be able to choose to join any of the public channels described below and to create new ones!
- ReproducibiliTea Journal Clubs
These journal clubs welcome researchers from any career stage and any disciplines to discuss papers and ideas about improving science, reproducibility and the Open Research movement. More details on how to join here.
You can join the chapter organised by the Experimental Psychology team or by the Clinical Research team in alternate weeks. To stay informed about their schedule and meeting links, sign up to the reproducibilitea mailing list and/or the clinical reproducibility mailing list!
You can also continue the discussion over to the dedicated RROx Slack channel for ReproducibiliTea attendees.
- Statistical Rethinking book club
This book club is an enthusiastic discussion group focused on working through a book or course collaboratively to improve all participants’ statistical knowledge and understanding.
This term they will together The Model Thinker by Scott E. Page. and follow the associated Coursera MOOC
To participate in this group and get all the necessary information, join the dedicated RROx Slack channel.
- More to come! And even more if you make a call for a new study group by creating another slack channel!
Open research at Oxford survey, round one - PGR students
This survey is aimed at academics, research staff and fellows, research support staff, and postgraduate research students, based in all academic Divisions of the University of Oxford (Humanities; Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences; Medical Sciences; Social Sciences; Gardens, Libraries and Museums; Continuing Education) and/or in the Colleges. The results of the survey will inform implementation of open research practices and responsible research assessment, and shape related training provision across the collegiate University.
Due to the pandemic, we will administer this survey in two rounds. The first round, from January 2021 to 1st March 2021, is targetting postgraduate research students only.
Survey: Open research at Oxford
You are warmly invited to share your views on open research in a survey developed by Reproducible Research Oxford. Professor Patrick Grant (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research) commented: “The survey will help to inform our implementation of open research practices across the collegiate University, and to understand what postgraduate researchers want from open research. It is a chance for postgraduate students in all disciplines to shape how research could evolve and how the University could best support them in this transition”.
Your views would be very welcome whether or not you are aware of open research practices, and whether or not you deem them relevant or necessary for your field of research.
Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary and anonymous. As a ‘thank you’ for taking part, Reproducible Research Oxford will donate £1 to the University’s Coronavirus Hardship Fund for each survey submitted (up to a total of £1,500), and you will have the option to enter a raffle for a chance to win one of five £50 gift cards from Blackwell’s. The survey will remain open until 1st March 2021.
Survey: Open research at Oxford
Malika Ihle, Dorothy Bishop, & Laura Fortunato. (2021, January 12). Open research at Oxford survey. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4433688
Reproducible Research Oxford Launch
Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx) formal launch event took place on
Monday 13 January 2020 from 1.30-6pm at St John’s College
We published in brief report of the event in Research Fortnight
As well as introducing RROx, and having brainstorming sessions with the audience , we had three invited speakers:
• Claire Fraser (Senior Higher Education Policy Adviser, Research England) he role of open research and responsible research assessment to addressing issues of research integrity
This event was well attended with over 120 attendees spanning the 4 Divisions of the University of Oxford and including research support staff from the Bodleian Libraries, IT services, and Research Services.
Video recordings and slides for each presentation can be found on our OSF repository.
Project TIER Faculty Development Spring '19
Project TIER’s Faculty Development Workshops are designed for college and university faculty who are interested in integrating principles of research transparency and reproducibility into courses on quantitative methods and/or the supervision of student research.
The workshops introduce participants to protocols for conducting and documenting empirical research that ensure the reproducibility of all computational results, and then present a range of pedagogical strategies and curricular resources for teaching these methods to students in a variety of educational settings.
The objective is to help instructors develop plans for teaching reproducible research practices that will be feasible and effective in their particular contexts, so that they are fully prepared to implement the methods presented at the workshops when they return to their home institutions.
Karen Sandler from software freedom conservancy
Karen Sandler will be speaking about her work at software freedom conservancy on February 5 at 16:00 (Lecture Theatre B, Department of Computer Science)
Finding Our Path To Digital Autonomy: Exploring the Relationship Between Tech Ethics, Privacy and Software Freedom
We increasingly live in a world where technology is embedded in every aspect of our lives. From medical devices to in-home security systems, to oral medication with sensors embedded, much of our personal information is broadcast out of our control with minimal real security on the devices we use. There’s often no option to even switch off connectivity of our devices and have them remain functional. We are regularly asked to accept terms of service that no reasonable person could read and understand. It’s becoming evident that:
- Medical and other assistive technologies aren’t optional
- It is becoming increasingly expensive to avoid connectivity
- The most vulnerable are the most exploited by tech with terrible privacy and no control
- Current policy does not ensure the existence of any user-respecting alternatives
While many are finally starting to wake up to the problematic state of our technology, the focus has been on merely protecting private information, not appreciable control over our digital destinies. We know that all of the technology we rely on is likely vulnerable, so let’s make sure we’ll be able to fix problems when they arise. Let’s treat users of technology as partners rather than just consumers. This talk will explore the current state of personal technology and the overlapping but separate issues that need to fall into place to assure we have digital autonomy when we need it most.
Karen is the executive director of Conservancy. She is known as a cyborg lawyer for her advocacy for free software, particularly in relation to the software on medical devices. Prior to joining Conservancy, she was executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Before that, she was general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen co-organizes Outreachy, the award-winning outreach program for women globally and for people of color who are underrepresented in US tech. Karen is a recipient of the O’Reilly Open Source Award and cohost of the oggcast Free as in Freedom.
Karen received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000, where she was a James Kent Scholar and co-founder of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. Karen received her bachelor’s degree in engineering from The Cooper Union.
call for application
The Carpentries instructor training
Are you interested in becoming a certified instructor to teach the computing, software, and data skills that facilitate open and reproducible research?
Through generous funding from Magdalen College, Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx) has established an institutional membership between the University of Oxford and The Carpentries. The Carpentries is a non-profit, community-led organisation, which specialises in teaching Software, Data, or Library skills to researchers across disciplines, in an inclusive environment.
As part of the institutional membership, we are able to offer training for members of the collegiate University to qualify as instructors for The Carpentries. The training involves attendance of a 16-hour online event, followed by a simple check-out process. Certified instructors are then able to help deliver Software, Data, or Library Carpentry workshops, for example by organising an event for their research group or department. We expect newly trained instructors to be involved in delivery of at least one workshop at Oxford within 12 months of completing the training.
We are able to offer a limited number of places on the instructor training free of charge, or subsided, to members of the collegiate University (indicatively, on the order of 10 places free of charge). The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) is generously funding up to an additional 6 places free of charge for University members based at Medical Research Council (MRC) Units (one place per Unit).
The cost of one place on the instructor training is estimated at $1,000 (+ 20% VAT). If you wish to secure a place, and you have funding available to cover the cost in full, please contact the RROx Coordinator, Dr Malika Ihle (firstname.lastname@example.org), as soon as possible. Similarly, do get in touch if you have funding available for members of your unit to join the training. For example, you or your line manager may have access to a training budget that can be used for this purpose; if you are a student, you may have access to training funds via your programme, College, or Department.
If you have partial funding to cover the cost of the training, or no funding, please read the information below and fill out this application form. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with the RROx Coordinator, Dr Malika Ihle (email@example.com). And please share widely!
Application deadline: 31 March 2021
Applicants notified: review of applications will begin on 15 March, and applicants will be notified by the end of April 2021.
Instructor training: Those offered a place are encouraged to attend the online training as soon as possible, from April 2021. Participation for the whole duration of the training is required. This 16-hour event can take place over 2, 4, or 8 days. Two sessions are provided each month, and new dates are shared every quarter. Please see the training calendar here for upcoming sessions.
Workshop delivery: We expect newly trained instructors to be involved in delivery of at least one Carpentries workshop at Oxford within one year of completing the training.
This call is aimed at postgraduate research students, research staff or fellows, and research support staff from any department, who expect to be based at Oxford at least through the end of September 2022.
Places funded in full, or subsidised, are limited and they will be allocated in line with the goal to build a sustainable community of instructors based at Oxford. Criteria include:
- career stage, motivations, and experience (i.e. balance between early-career researchers interested in building a community of peers, and permanent University staff already involved in training);
- representation across Divisions (i.e. balance between discipline with high demand for training in computing skills, and disciplines with limited training opportunities in this area);
- previous involvement with Reproducible Research Oxford and/or with The Carpentries (both favoured, but not necessary);
- a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, to ensure that all future workshop participants are able to access training in a welcoming environment.
We warmly encourage members of the University who identify with groups that have been historically excluded from computer science and related fields (e.g. women, people of colour and/or from ethnic minority backgrounds, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community).
Click here to access the online application form.
presentation and discussion
Peer Community in Registered Reports with Corina Logan
Corina Logan from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, will be presenting the initiatives she leads and/or co leads to improve research rigor such as #BulliedIntoBadScience, a campaign where early career researchers are working to change academic culture to adopt open research practices; and Peer Community in Registered Reports, a free, supra-journal platform that reviews & recommends Registered Reports preprints across all research fields (see also this Science news article publicising its launch)
Webinar title: How Peer Community in Registered Reports lets researchers take back control over the publishing process
Abstract: There is a desperate need to reform the production and dissemination of scholarly outputs to increase transparency, reproducibility, timeliness, academic rigor, and equity. I will discuss what researchers are doing to address these issues by sharing ways to tackle biases and facilitate higher quality research that puts researchers back in control using Peer Community in Registered Reports - a free, supra-journal platform that reviews and recommends registered reports across all research fields.
We hope to have a vibrant discussion afterwards!
Date: 28 June 3pm BST
Registration: Please register on eventbrite to receive the meeting link.
This meeting will take place on Zoom or on Teams and will be recorded.
Wellcome Cafe Culture
We would like to discuss with you our current research culture and ways to improve it!
We will be hosting a Wellcome Trust Café Culture in St John’s College from 5pm to 6.30pm on the 5th of March (room tbc).
Please sign up on this eventbrite page!
This will be an opportunity to talk about the challenges we face in research culture, reflect on what a better culture would look like, and, most importantly, propose solutions for how Wellcome and other parts of the system could change.
Wellcome’s previous survey and interviews with researchers revealed a lot about our working culture and the kinds of problems we face. Read the findings. Now, we have the chance to play our part and propose solutions!
Before our discussion: Take a particular issue of research culture that you think needs to improve, and think about ideas for how to achieve that. What could individual researchers, research leaders, institutions, funders, professional bodies or others do? How could different kinds of individuals and organisations reward, require and support good practices and behaviours?
Some of the topics involved will touch on deeply personal experiences and may be difficult to discuss. Everyone in the group should be considerate and respectful, and we hope you feel able to speak openly. You might also want to make yourself aware of appropriate sources of support available at your institution.
call for application
Oxford|Berlin Summer School on Open Research 2021
The Oxford Berlin Summer School on Open Research 2021 will be conducted in hybrid (or online) format on 20.-23. September
Transparency and reproducibility of research methods and results are important hallmarks of high quality in all areas, from biomedical to social and physical sciences. In the last few years, many novel approaches, tools, and technologies have emerged that allow for a comprehensive representation of the research process that goes far beyond descriptions of research methods and results as found in traditional journal articles. Open research practices have the potential to revolutionise the way research methods and results are communicated, and to facilitate research collaborations and sharing of research outputs in an unprecedented manner. However, adopting these practices requires knowledge and skills that are not normally taught in undergraduate or graduate degrees. To close this gap, we offer a four-day summer school to guide early career researchers (PhD students and postdocs) towards an open, transparent, and reproducible research workflow. These topics will be embedded in a more general curriculum on research ethics and meta-research.
The four-day summer school will consist of a series of lectures that cover the following topics:
- Biases in research
- Best practices for sharing publications, data, and code
- Ethical conduct of research
The lectures will be complemented by a series of interactive workshops, which participants can choose from based on their needs (e.g. introduction to R and Python, reproducible workflows, version control in Git and Github, data management, and preregistration).
Interested participants should apply via our registration page (stored on the Berlin Institute of Health Website). During the registration, they will be asked to briefly state their motivation (300 words) and a description of a potential project that is suitable to apply the knowledge from the summer school. The letter of motivation should contain a brief statement about how the applicant has applied or intends to apply open research practices in their current work, if any other courses were attended, and what particular challenges were encountered in their work, which would be addressed by the summer school. The project outline should give a brief overview of future or recently started research projects, in which participants would like to apply open/ reproducible research practices. Applicants with projects in any area of empirical research are encouraged to apply. If more applications are received than can be accommodated, the organising committee will select participants on the basis of the project and experience that they describe. We will favor applicants who are novices but who have already identified a need for applying the skills acquired. Following acceptance, we require a signed form from the supervisor/PI to indicate that they will support the use of transparent and reproducible practices in the applicant’s research project. Registration will close on 31 July.
The course is free to attend.
If the situation allows, the summer school will be conducted in a hybrid format, that is with local in person meetings organised at Oxford and in Berlin, and with the possibility to attend online. If lockdowns are in place, the summer school will run entirely online.
The summer school is organised by the BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research, Berlin Institute of Health and Reproducible Research Oxford, University of Oxford.
“Funded from the Berlin University Alliance as part of the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and Countries”
Please send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a list of ongoing initiatives related to RROx.
Oxford Code Review Network
Ever wanted a fresh pair of eyes to look at your code, or to track down a bug? Would you like to get feedback on your research software from fellow research programmers? Want to get in touch with other research programmers at the University of Oxford?
The Oxford Code Review Network (OxCRN) aims to make it easy for researchers at all levels, from students to senior professors, to engage in regular code reviews, both as reviewers and reviewees. Whatever your research field or favourite programming language, code reviews will make your research software better; not only free of bugs, but also more readable and maintainable, making your research more open and reproducible. It’s also a great opportunity to engage with colleagues from other departments and Divisions!
OxCRN is beginner friendly: you don’t need to be a veteran programmer to review code, and a basic knowledge of the relevant programming language will do. Whatever your level of experience, reviewing code is perhaps the best way to sharpen and widen your software skills.
Simply visit https://github.com/OxfordCodeReviewNet/forum and get started today!
Oxford Free Open Source Software
Free(Libre) Open Source Software (OxFOSS) meetups are held regularly to discuss free software. Subscribe to the OxFOSS mailing list to stay informed!
This initiative aims to bring together people with an interest in software freedom and open source, particularly in an academic context. Meetings are a mix of informal discussion and invited talks.
During Michaelmas term, meetings will be held every other Monday at 3PM UK time.
- 19/10 3PM-4.30PM - Discussion: Intro to OxFOSS + Practical reasons for using free/open source software in academia
- 02/11 3PM-4PM - Seminar by Rowan Wilson and Andrew Katz: Licensing research software: public domain? copyleft? permissive?
- 16/11 3PM-4PM - Discussion: What can we do as a local FOSS community to advocate for FOSS at Oxford?
- 30/11 3PM-4PM - TBC/TBD
- Practical reasons for using free/open source software in academia
19/10 3PM-4.30PM - Discussion
Advocating for the use of free and open source software is often made difficult by the fact that proprietary alternatives are deemed more convenient: either because they come with a larger set of features, or because they are already well established in one’s community. In this first OxFOSS event we will discuss what the practical reasons are for using FOSS, with a focus on academic research and scholarship. Free software is in fact widely used by many researchers for specialized tasks: R, scipy/numpy, jupyter, LaTeX… What are the reasons behind this popularity? Can these extend to other free software projects competing with proprietary alternatives for more common office tasks? What are examples of when, and why, you choose to use a free software tool instead of a non-free alternative?
- Licensing research software: public domain? copyleft? permissive?
Invited talk by Rowan Wilson, Oxford IT Services Research Support team Leader, and Andrew Katz, Managing Partner and Head of Tech and IP at Moorcrofts
How can I share the software I write to further my research? Why would I bother? Do I have to ask anyone? How do I do it? This talk will discuss how you can license your Oxford research software using free and open source software licences, why you might want to, and examine some examples of the results. Andrew Katz is Head of IP and Tech at Moorcrofts LLP and has been a leading light on the UK FOSS scene for many years. Rowan Wilson helps researchers with IT at Oxford and for ten years worked in Oxford’s free and open source software advisory service OSS Watch.
- What can we do as a local FOSS community to advocate locally for FOSS?
16/11 3PM-4PM - Discussion
OxFOSS aims to create and foster a friendly and inclusive community of people concerned with issues regarding software freedom and open source. A longer term objective of OxFOSS is to rely on this community to advocate for free software in broader circles, for instance to academics who have not been exposed to these issues.
In this session, we reflect collectively on our options to move forward as a community and advocate for the use of free software around us in Oxford. Possible topics for discussion include – Possible events and topics aimed at academics that are not familiar with the issues of free/open source software. What are your preferred way of introducing these issues? – Oxford is a large, somewhat peculiar University. Who to target? Individual research groups, departments? – Oxford is not limited to the University. Should we broaden the focus of OxFOSS outside of academia and be inclusive to the local community? What would be a suitable course of action?
Software and data carpentry
Software and data carpentry workshops are organised during the year. Follow the Reproducible Research Oxford twitter page to receive updates on when the next workshop will be held!
Decolonising Research Interest Group
The Decolonising Research Interest Group is a fortnightly gathering to discuss and reflect on decolonising methods, and to translate discussions into meaningful action to improve scientific practice.
Subscribe to the Decolonising Research interest Group mailing list!
Trinity Term 2021 programme:
5th May 1-2pm Birhane, A., & Guest, O. (2020). Towards decolonising computational sciences. Preprint. https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.14258
19th May 1-2pm Bezuidenhout, L., & Havemann, J. (2020). The varying openness of digital open science tools. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.26615.1
2nd June 1-2pm Marchais, G., Bazuzi, P., & Amani Lameke, A. (2020). ‘The data is gold, and we are the gold-diggers’: whiteness, race and contemporary academic research in eastern DRC. Critical African Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681392.2020.1724806
16th June 1-3pm Hack-a-thon Creating best practice guidance on recording demographic variables in quantitative research. The aim is to design a survey instrument which records how researchers measure demographic variables; the results will be written up for publication with our recommendations.
Oxford-Berlin Summer School
podcast and journal club
ReproducibiliTea journal clubs are a grassroots initiative for researchers to discuss articles and ideas about improving their work through open research practices.
You can join either or both of the following groups which meet in alternated weeks, by subscribing to their mailing lists:
- clinical-reproducibilitea is co-organised by a team of early career researchers from NDORMS, Primary Care, and Psychiatry. Main contact: James Smith
- reproducibilitea, the funder group, is based in Experimental Psychology. Main contact: Matt Jaquiery
Both groups welcome researchers of all career stages and disciplines.
Follow the twitter page for worlwide updates!
Other past events can be found on the archive of this website.