Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Is there a reproducibility crisis in the biomedical sciences? If so, what can early-career researchers do about it? This was the theme of the second edition of the Oxford-Berlin Summer School on Open Research.

For five days in September sixty PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from Oxford, Berlin and other universities came together at Green Templeton College and the Weston Library to attend lectures and interactive workshops on how to incorporate open and reproducible research practices in their own projects.

The summer school was co-organised by Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx) and the QUEST Center at the Berlin Institute of Health with generous support from the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership and the Bodleian Libraries.

A diverse programme of lectures and workshops focused on various aspects of open and reproducible research across the cycle of a research project. Participants selected from a range of workshops, covering topics such as the importance of systematic literature reviews when developing hypotheses, avoiding biases and confounding in study design, introductory courses in Python and R to produce reproducible workflows for data analysis, and publishing research outputs such as data and materials. Many participants said afterwards that it was extremely difficult to only choose one workshop per day because they were all so interesting and relevant. 

Highlights of the week were the keynote lecture on 'Data liberation' given by Professor Denise Lievesley (Principal of Green Templeton College) and informal discussions among early-career researchers on advantages of, and barriers to, working more openly within the current incentive structures.

The event was very successful and brought together lecturers and tutors from Berlin and across Oxford, including Medical Sciences, (Experimental Psychology, NDPH, Biomedical Services, NDORMS, NDS, PHC and Psychiatry), Social Sciences, MPLS, IT Services and the Bodleian Libraries.

Reproducible Research Oxford will continue to harness the expertise and energy of everyone involved in the summer school and plan to deliver more training to Oxford-based early-career researchers in the future.

If you would like to hear more about their work, visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

Similar stories

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

The Gene Therapists Headline at Glastonbury 2022

Rosie Munday writes about her experience taking science to the masses at the Glastonbury Festival.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.

Night-time blood pressure assessment is found to be important in diagnosing hypertension

Around 15% of people aged 40-75 may have a form of undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension) that occurs only at night-time. Because they do not know about this, and therefore are not being treated for it, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart failure, and even death, suggests new research from the University of Oxford published in the British Journal of General Practice.