Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea: Forum for Discussions on the Open Research Movement

White teapot with ReproducibiliTea logo (blue outline of teacup surrounded by blue hexagon with black banner in foreground containing white ReproducibiliTea text) sitting on table.

Laura Klinkhamer and Niamh MacSweeney, October 2021

 

Origin

The ReproducibiliTea organisation is a grassroots journal club initiative, which helps researchers establish local open research journal clubs to discuss ideas and issues about improving research (integrity), reproducibility, and the broader open research movement. ReproducibiliTea was started in 2018 by a group of early career researchers at Oxford University. It has since spread to 140 institutions in 27 different countries.

 

The idea for an Edinburgh branch of ReproducibiliTea took form over a virtual cup of tea during the first lockdown in Summer 2020. We, PhD students Niamh MacSweeney and Laura Klinkhamer, were chatting about the daily highlights and struggles (mostly struggles) of PhD life when Niamh enthusiastically brought up the topic of open research.  This instantly clicked as a common shared interest and we decided that Edinburgh should have its own ReproducibiliTea section. Setting up a local branch was very easy and they even provided a free Reproducbili-Teapot, which we hope to put to good use in future in-person meetings!

 

We initially planned for our ReproducibiliTea to be based within our own Psychiatry department. However, we were blown away by the level of interest from the broader university community so decided to make it a university-wide journal club open to all students, researchers and supporting staff from a variety of career stages.

 

We were soon fortunate to be introduced to Ben Thomas, co-founder of the Edinburgh Open Research Initiative (EORI). The EORI is a grassroots collective of students and staff based primarily at the University of Edinburgh and Ben is a fountain of knowledge on all things open research.

 

We decided to join forces with the EORI and make Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea an EORI outreach platform. Together we promote awareness of and training in Open Research practices and policies, and lobby for these to be implemented and formally recognised by the University of Edinburgh.

 

Previous ReproducibiliTea Sessions

We held our first Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea session on October 16th 2020 with Ben as our inaugural speaker. Since then we have held sessions on every 3rd Friday of the month. This has included  meeting on open research-related topics such as selfish reasons to work reproducibly (Kaitlyn Hair), Edinburgh Carpentries (Dr. Edward Wallace) and a “holiday special” (see below) in which multiple local researchers shared some of their experiences with open research-related practices.

 

You can check our past sessions on our YouTube channel, our blog, and our Open Science Framework page.

 

We kicked off this academic year with a session on easing into open science (Dr Priya Silverstein). We are incredibly pleased that the sessions have been so well-attended and we are very grateful to have received a lot of positive and useful feedback. It goes to show that the open research movement is very relevant to the research community in Edinburgh!

 

 

Going Forward

Our aim is to grow Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea as a platform for respectful, free discussion and to facilitate knowledge exchange and learning about open research-related topics. We are already reaping the benefits from this platform as it has inspired us to make changes in our own research work, such as working on registered reports and improving our reproducible workflows (more extensively annotating code, thinking twice about how we organise our datasets and scripts etc.)

 

We hope that many others can take inspiration from the sessions and discussions. In our view, making your research more ‘open’ should not be approached with an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of attitude. Small steps and adjustments can go a long way and really benefit both yourself and your extended research community.

 

Getting Involved

If you would like to sign up to our mailing list to receive invites to our monthly sessions, please fill out this form. We also strongly encourage you to join the open EORI channel on Microsoft Teams, where we have a space for discussions and sharing of open research-related events and materials.

 

If you are interested in getting more involved (e.g. as a speaker, suggesting a topic, helping to organise and promote sessions) please email us at edinburgh.reproducibilitea@ed.ac.uk.

 

The EORI are also urgently looking for volunteers. If you are interested in supporting them, please email ed.open.research@gmail.com.

 

You can also find us on Twitter @Edinburgh_Tea and the EORI on @Edinburgh_open.

 

 

 

Photo by Anne Scheel on Twitter (2019, March 8)

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