The Rebecca J. Holz series in Research Data Management is a monthly lecture series hosted during the spring and fall academic semesters. Research Data Services invites speakers from a variety of disciplines to talk about their research or involvement with data.

On February 15th Pierce Edmiston, a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at UW-Madison, gave a talk entitled “Adopting open source practices for better science”. Details on viewing the slides will be listed below following the description of the brown bag talk.

Emiston’s talk was framed around a discussion of reproducibility and the ways that bias creeps into the research process, which he then provided suggestions on practices to help prevent these issues. The introduction to his talk covered his personal motivations for adopting reproducible practices, gave an overview of the literature surrounding reproducibility and the reproduciblity crisis in psychological science, and then covered why he thinks open source could be the answer. Edmiston then offered three suggestions of open source practices to adopt – including version control, dynamic documents, and what he calls “building from source”. The talk finished with examples of these practices from his own work and further literature on openness in practice and culture. Edmistion has also provided a list of linked references for all of the literature mentioned in his presentation.

Accessing the slides:

Edmiston’s talk was built using R Markdown, a tool for building dynamic documents (a topic covered in his talk) which can be exported into multiple formats including web documents, word documents, slides, and more. Due to the nature of the tool and its output formats, to access Edmiston’s talk you will need to visit his GitHub page. There the talk can be viewed on the site or downloaded.

To download the talk,  select the green “Clone or Download” button on the right-hand side of the page. Once the folder has downloaded, you can open it and see all the files he prepared for his presentation. Look for an HTML file entitled “presentation” and double click it. A new browser window will automatically open with Edmiston’s talk, which you can then use your arrow keys to tab through.

To view the presentation on Edmiston’s GitHub page, select the file labeled  “”, which will show the slides laid out as one long document. However, please be aware there will still be some pieces of code within the document. Also, if you select the file titled “presentation.Rmd” instead, you will see the code behind the presentation’s images rather than the images themselves.