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10  What next?

What Next slides

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It is one thing to learn the principles of how to do reproducible research. It is quite another thing to do so in daily practice. So, how can you practice these skills and tools you learned during the course?

10.1 How do you share?

How do you share? Put your code up on any of these sites. We recommend a combination of GitHub and Zenodo, but the others are also quite good as well. And we’re already showing you how to use GitHub, so you’re one step closer to sharing on your own!

Next question might, when do you share? Right away! No matter how ugly. If its ugly, that’s fine! The point is you start and that you get more comfortable doing it until it becomes second nature to share and in the process, your code gets better because you know someone might look at your code.

And even if your code isn’t reproducible, even if others can’t run it own their own, sharing is the first step to becoming better. At the least, others can inspect your code for its overall logic.

We as researchers try to find our niche, make our own space in the research world. Sometimes its a real struggle to find that niche… but this is one of those niches! Very few people are sharing their code! You start doing the simplest thing of sharing your code and you will be one of very very few people who do. And this isn’t a niche, this is a gaping hole in our modern scientific process.

So as soon as you have an analysis project set up, put it up on either GitHub or GitLab (another service like GitHub). Alternatively, you can upload it when you also finish your manuscript.

10.2 What else can you do?

The other things you can start doing is find or start building a community of people who also use R or are doing reproducibility or any other computational work. Use them as support and help and also give back too.

Start doing code reviews in your research group. Code review would be where you look over each others code, check that it works, check that it makes sense, that it’s readable and understandable. The nice thing with doing code reviews is that it dispels the mystery around code and about criticizing it and trying to improve it. We review manuscripts, why not code? Do note though, that this is way easier said than done!

You can teach! Teach others. Use these teaching materials. Or get involved with this course next year. Or now! Several participants from these courses are or will soon be helping to improve the material for next year. There are also so many other things you can get involved in, aside from this course. Let us know if you’re interested!

We also have an informal, once-monthly, Coding Club you can join or follow. Information about it is on the website. We do the sessions virtually on the r-cubed Discord server.