The ability to replicate scientific experiments is a cornerstone of the scientific method. Sharing ideas, workflows, data, and protocols facilitates testing the generalizability of results, increases the speed that science progresses, and enhances quality control of published work. Fields of science such as medicine, the social sciences, and the physical sciences have embraced practices designed to increase replicability. Granting agencies, for example, may require data management plans and journals may require data and code availability statements along with the deposition of data and code in publicly available repositories. While many tools commonly used in replicable workflows such as distributed version control systems (e.g., 'git') or script programming languages for data cleaning and analysis may have a steep learning curve, their adoption can increase individual efficiency and facilitate collaborations both within entomology and across disciplines. The open science movement is developing within the discipline of entomology, but practitioners of these concepts or those desiring to work more collaboratively across disciplines may be unsure where or how to embrace these initiatives. This article is meant to introduce some of the tools entomologists can incorporate into their workflows to increase the replicability and openness of their work. We describe these tools and others, recommend additional resources for learning more about these tools, and discuss the benefits to both individuals and the scientific community and potential drawbacks associated with implementing a replicable workflow.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by United States Department of Agriculture McIntire-Stennis project MIN-17-095 and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota. We thank A. K. Tran, M. J. Hallinen, and S. Robinson (University of Minnesota) and two anonymous reviewers for helpful insights that improved earlier drafts of this manuscript.
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.
- data curation
- data management
- open access
- preprint servers