Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OA for reproducible research

Patrick Vandewalle, Jelena Kovacevic, and Martin Vetterli, What, Why and How of Reproducible Research in Signal Processing, a preprint submitted to IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.  Self-archived June 20, 2008.  (Thanks to Stevan Harnad.)

Abstract:   Have you ever tried to reproduce the results presented in a research paper? For many of our current publications, this would unfortunately be a challenging task. For a computational algorithm, details such as the exact dataset, initialization or termination procedures and precise parameter values are often omitted in the publication for various reasons. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for someone else to obtain the same results. To address the problem, we have started making our research reproducible. Instead of only describing the developed algorithms to ‘sufficient’ precision in an article, we give readers access to all the information (code, data, schemes, etc.) that was used to produce the presented results as first advocated by Knuth and Claerbout. We are convinced that making research reproducible is not only a matter of good practice, but also increases the impact of our publications and makes it easier to build upon each other’s work. It is a clear win-win situation for our community: we will have access to more and more algorithms and can spend time inventing new things rather than recreating existing ones.

The authors work in the Audiovisual Communications Laboratory at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.  Also see their page on Reproducible Research and their RR Repository, Blog, and Forum.  For background, see my blog post from last year (7/14/08) on their RR work.