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Enabling access to reproducible research

Published: 
19 December 2016
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Stat-JR worflows support complex statistical analysis

A team of Web and Internet Science (WAIS) researchers, from Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton, has been working with statistical colleagues at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol, to develop new software technology that allows UK students and young researchers to access reproducible statistical research.

Stat-JR is an online universal gateway to many specialised statistical packages that provides tools to help users learn about statistical methods and how they can be implemented.

WAIS researcher Dr Danius Michaelides was part of the Southampton team in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project that explored how to extend Stat-JR to better support reproducibility.

Danius said: “We have integrated workflows into Stat-JR to better support complex statistical analyses. Also, when researchers are using Stat-JR, we record their actions in the form of provenance traces. These traces can be turned into workflows so that the analyses can not only be rerun but also be edited and reused.

“When used in conjunction with Stat-JR's e-book system it allows other researchers and students to adopt and adapt complex analyses for their own research.”

The three-year project has seen the team building tools to support reproducibility. Professor Luc Moreau, who led the work in Southampton, said: “Provenance is a key technology in supporting reproducible research and with this project we've explored how best to use provenance to improve the Stat-JR tools.”

To find out more about Stat-JR visit www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/software/statjr.

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