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How to make your research reproducible: Research Output Best Practices

This guide presents best practices in documenting scientific research process to make the research reproducible.

Research Output

Scientific paper(s) along with graphs/tables – The output of the research could be any document that contains the results of the scientific research as well as all the assorted graphs and tables that contain. These files can be:

  • Compiled files (e.g., pdf)
  • Source files (e.g., .tex files, figures, .bib file)
  • Packages/libraries/styles installed (e.g., graphics)
  • Graphs and tables

Good Practices to Manage Your Research Output

When researchers submit a scientific paper, they get reviews back after a couple of months. Therefore, it is important to keep track of how the scientific research output generated to update any graph or aspect of the scientific paper. Best practices for managing the output files could be:

  • Documenting the environment and the file structure.
  • Tracking the versions of the produced papers, graphs, etc.
  • Documenting any problem that faces you with the computing environment.
  • Backup your files every while.
  • Save your files on Dropbox or any other cloud storage to keep track of your versions.
  • For writing your manuscript, use Latex and Bibtex. Simply because:
    • Latex is free and open source.
    • A .tex file can be edited in any text editor.
    • The content is separated from style.
    • With a couple of line and style files, you can convert how your pdf looks. 
    • Latex allows preserving your files longer time.
    • The output document looks better.
  • Naming files should be descriptive and consistent! 

Tools for Managing Research Output

Writing:

Storing your files:

Collaborative writing:

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