Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Pierre Montagano.
Pierre is the Director of Business Development for Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform.
Now that anyone with an internet connection can post their research online, the value of our contribution to that ecosystem is increasingly being called into question, and we must focus on what we can do within this new environment to benefit researchers, smooth their scientific processes, and accelerate the pace of research.
To justify our existence, then, we must enable researchers to do more with these outputs than simply read or write about them.
Assembling more of the elements that bring researchers to the conclusions in their published articles – data, code, lab notebooks, protocols, reagents, annotations, and referenced work – we can create a web of interconnected research objects that better facilitates the process of science.
It is not enough for us merely to facilitate the publication of a wider range of scholarly outputs, however.
This presents considerable challenges for those who need to run that code to establish its validity, as well as that of the underlying data.
It can also create limitations for those researchers looking to reuse that code for furthering their own experiments.
Yet our most vocal critics within academia frequently accuse the industry of being antiquated and failing to meet researchers’ needs, while many of our more recent attempts at innovation have, as Sarah Andrus noted in her recent post, failed to find an enthusiastic audience.
Having spent the better part of two decades in traditional publishing, I think about these issues often.