Reproducibility—the means of re-creating the entire analysis of an experiment or study—is a crucial component of the scientific method. But it often is not a simple task to reproduce the computational environment such as code, data, and hardware.
The U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine note in the report “Fostering Integrity in Research” that “current standards for transparency are not adequately supporting reproducibility and the ability to build on previous work.” One best practice from the report calls attention to data handling and the need for authors to provide access to the data, models, and code underlying the article.
IEEE launched a partnership in March with Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform that enables users to upload, run, and publish code, all without having to install anything on their computer. Access to code in this way drastically reduces the barrier of entry for researchers who wish to reanalyze and reproduce the code without having to contact the authors or hit a dependency dead end in acquiring the appropriate hardware, libraries, packages, parameters, and subsequent dependencies.
Once the code is published in Code Ocean, it will be linked to the associated article in IEEE Xplore, bridging the code and the article. Authors will be able to:
- Verify reproducibility and reuse of the code.
- Increase credibility, visibility, and transparency of the research.
- Get a digital object identifier (DOI) for the published code to receive credit when it is cited in other research.
Any article published within the past five years in an IEEE Xplore journal or conference proceeding can now be linked with its executable code on Code Ocean. Once the author submits code for the published paper, it is posted in Code Ocean. IEEE Xplore users can discover, view, edit, and execute the code using any Web browser. Authors maintain copyright to the code, and the published version remains unchanged even if someone else modifies it.
For more information, visit the IEEE Code Ocean FAQs page.
David Goldstein is lead director of new product development for the IEEE Marketing, Sales, and Design Department.