Our Mission and Goals

An article about computational science in a scientific publication is not the scholarship itself, it is merely advertising of the scholarship. The actual scholarship is the complete software development environment and the complete set of instructions which generated the figures.

D. Donoho

The ResearchCompendia platform is an attempt to use the web to enhance the reproducibility and verifiability—and thus the reliability—of scientific research. We provide the tools to publish the "actual scholarship" by hosting data, code, and methods in a form that is accessible, trackable, and persistent. Some of our short term goals include:

  • To expand and enhance the platform including adding executability for a greater variety of coding languages and frameworks, and enhancing output presentation.
  • To expand usership and to test the ResearchCompendia model in a number of additional fields, including computational mathematics, statistics, and biostatistics.
  • To pilot integration with existing scholarly platforms, enabling researchers to discover relevant Research Compendia websites when looking at online articles, code repositories, or data archives.

It has been a long held principle of academic science that all respectable research must be reproducible. As such, authors of published research have historically been expected to archive and share the data used to obtain to their conclusions. Now that much of that data and analysis is generated computationally, it is natural to expect that code and parameters also be shared. Additionally, it is right to expect that researchers ought to document the computational portions of their research methods as thoroughly as they would document a tabletop experiment.

We introduce the concept of a compendium as both a container for the different elements that make up the document and its computations (i.e. text, code, data,...), and as a means for distributing, managing and updating the collection.”

Gentleman, R. and Temple Lang, D. "Statistical Analyses and Reproducible Research" (May 2004). Bioconductor Project Working Papers.

With ResearchCompendia we wish to address these issues facing reproducibility in computational research. We will provide tools to share and archive the data, codes, documentation, parameters, and environmental settings linked with published research all in one place. Soon, we wish to support the verification and validation processes by providing for the remote execution of shared codes in our cloud resources, and the visualization of results. Most of all we wish to make these tools heavily automated, and easy to access and utilize to lessen the exertion required from already overburdened academic researchers in the process of publishing fully reproducible work.

Why create a Research Compendium?

  • Boost your citation rates and recognition, and get credit for your code in addition to your publications.
  • Defend your research.
  • Archive your research and track your computational procedures.
  • Speed up the process of converting scientific results into productive forces.
  • Allow others to build on your work in a highly visible and trackable way.

ResearchCompendia follows these main objectives:

  • To provide the tools for researcher to easily communicate all the information necessary to make all publications fully reproducible.
  • To allow researchers to quickly disseminate the methods of their research. This will considerably increase the potential of citations of scientific papers.
  • To provide the scientific community with the ability to use the latest scientific computational methods.
  • To allow members of the academic community to quickly and easily verify and validate scientific results and to demonstrate their robustness.

To do this we hope to provide the following tools:

  • Quick and elegant Compendia Page creation with easy to navigate access to all relevant data, code, documentation, and results, with no coding required by the researcher. [current]
  • Free data and code hosting. [current]
  • Executable functionality with easy parameter entry that enables users and contributors alike to run compendia codes in our cloud and obtain requested results in an downloadable file with optional results visualizations for some languages (R, MatLab, Python, Cactus, etc.). [planned]

About Us

The ResearchCompendia website is operated not for profit. We are currently operating under a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation. Funds from this grant support this project through Columbia University. With:

  • Victoria Stodden as Chief Science Officer of ResearchCompendia:
    • Assistant Professor of Statistics at Columbia University.
    • Completed her PhD in statistics and her law degree at Stanford University.
    • Research centers on the multifaceted problem of enabling reproducibility in computational science.
    • Developer of the award winning "Reproducible Research Standard," a suite of open licensing recommendations for the dissemination of computational results.
    • Serves on the National Academies of Science committee on "Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process" and the American Statistical Association's "Committee on Privacy and Confidentiality" (2013).
    • Serves as a member of the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI), the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate Subcommittee on "Support for the Statistical Sciences at NSF."
  • Jennifer Seiler as Chief Outreach Coordinator and Science Advisor:
    • Jennifer Seiler is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Statistics at Columbia University.
    • Completed her PhD in Gravitational Astrophysics for research at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics with Leibniz Universität Hannover.
    • Specialized in Numerical Relativity, writing, running, and analyzing massively parallelized simulations of black hole spacetimes for the production of gravitational wave template signals for astrophysical predictions and for use in GW detector pipelines.
    • Worked in the Numerical Relativity group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on the LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) mission.
    • An open science devotee, most of Jennifer's past research has been done using and developing for the open source computational physics framework called the Cactus Computational Toolkit.
    • If you wish to collaborate with, contribute to, promote for, or otherwise interact with ResearchCompendia contact Jennifer.
  • Sheila Miguez as Chief Site Developer:
    • Staff Associate Programmer at Columbia University.
    • She joined ResearchCompendia because making a tool for scientists is more exciting than working on ecommerce platforms. She hopes to apply experience working at Orbitz towards building ResearchCompendia tools and teaching scientists relevant industry practices. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with people at pumpingstationone.org. She welcomes people to come to python office hours to ask about ResearchCompendia.