What’s in a name?

Reproducible research, literate programming, open science, and science 2.0. All different namings, and (in my opinion) all covering largely the same topic: sharing code and/or data complementing a publication as a presentation of your research work. While literate programming is more focused on adding documentation to code, and science 2.0 seems to include the assumption that you put work in progress online, there really seems to be a very large intersection between these topics.

This clearly shows that from various sides of the scientific community, in very different fields of science, the same ideas pop up. That is a really exciting thing! And at the same time it also shows that there is a clear need for such open publication of a piece of research. And I think everyone will agree that there would be nothing nicer than being able to really start from the current state-of-the-art when starting to do research in a certain field?

Should all these efforts be merged under a single “label”? It would definitely be exciting. And it would create a huge impact, as a joint effort for “open science”, “reproducible research”, or whatever the name may be, would receive a lot of attention, and cannot be overlooked by anyone anymore. At the same time, every research domain needs other specifics or finetuning, and it is not clear to me now what the “best” setup would be for the type of work I am doing now. So maybe we should let these variations co-exist for some more time, and see later which ones survive, are the simplest to use, and which tools can be combined to create an optimal method for research.

But of course (if anyone is reading these posts), I would be very happy to hear your own opinion on this!

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