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.
By turning the research paper itself into a functional research tool, we can offer greater value to the community.
Code offers one such opportunity: alongside data, it too is rapidly becoming a central component of the scientific record, often turning data into something functional and constructive.
We must also offer tools that enable researchers to interact with them.
Publishers first established their place within the scholarly ecosystem by doing certain things more efficiently than could academics – most of all, circulating research more widely than scholars could do on their own.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.The same problems can occur for complex datasets and different types of analyses.Peer review of these sorts of research outputs is another stumbling point.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.Increasingly, journals are interested in reviewing data and code as part of the article acceptance process.has described reviewing code as ‘cumbersome’, since it ‘requires authors to compile the code in a format that is accessible for others to check, and reviewers to download the code and data, set up the computational environment in their own computer and install the many dependencies that are often required to make it all work.’ Again, this is a point where publishers can provide the tools needed to ease author and reviewer burden.He has worked in publishing for 20 years, starting his career in education with Pearson in 1998.He then moved on working at Mc Graw-Hill and Cambridge before joining the startup world in 2015.