Reproducibility is a hot topic in the scientific community and is considered by many researchers to be an important challenge. But the term reproducibility holds different meanings for different researchers, causing confusion and a lack of shared understanding.
Associate Professor Victoria Stodden, whose research focuses on enabling reproducibility in the computational sciences, spoke to Nature about this issue. She considers three types of reproducibility, including empirical, in which enough information is provided for an experiment to be physically repeated and verified, and computational and statistical, which allow for repetition and verification of findings.
Stodden is a leading figure in the area of reproducibility in computational science, exploring how we can better ensure the reliability and usefulness of scientific results in the face of increasingly sophisticated computational approaches to research. Her work addresses a wide range of topics, including standards of openness for data and code sharing, legal and policy barriers to disseminating reproducible research, robustness in replicated findings, cyberinfrastructure to enable reproducibility, and scientific publishing practices. She serves as an associate editor for reproducibility for the Journal of the American Statistical Society and was recently invited to serve on the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Coordinating Committee.
At Illinois, she holds affiliate appointments at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NSCA), College of Law, Department of Statistics, and Department of Computer Science. Stodden earned both her PhD in statistics and her law degree from Stanford University. She also holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa.