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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.

Oxford berlin open research summer school

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.