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Beyond o2r: collaborations and community activity for more open and reproducible science

The o2r project has its primary goals in providing tools to enhance scholarly communication. We build technology to help solving relevant problems. With the Executable Research Compendium and supporting software, we provide a different, more holistic take on how research output should look like in the future, especially if data and software are involved in the scientific workflow. However, tech is not all we do and o2r team members actively work with the GIScience community and the broader scientific community. This blog post briefly introduces two recent collaborations that are less about technology and more about community, culture, and people.

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o2r student assistant about impressions of reproducibility ready to start a career in research

“Geoscientist with experience in or willingness to learn R programming for reproducible research wanted!”

I had just completed a beginner course in R programming for my master’s thesis and saw my chance to further develop this knowledge and enter the field of geoinformatics, even get a little away from the pure ecology of my master studies in landscape ecology. I had never before heard of the words “reproducible research”, neither heard of any reason why this topic is of importance. So I took the job and worked my way in. After a couple of months

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Introducing geoextent

geoextent is an easy to use library for extracting the geospatial extent from data files with multiple data formats.

Take a look at the source code on GitHub, the library on PyPI and the documentation website. You can view and test geoextent implementation through interactive notebooks on mybinder.org with a click on the following binder.

Binder

Here is a small example how to use geoextent.

geoextent -b -t -input= 'cities_NL.csv'

The output will show the rectangular bounding box, time interval and crs extracted from file data, as follow:

{'format': 'text/csv',
 'crs': '4326',
 'tbox': ['30.09.2018', '30.09.2018'],
 'bbox': [4.3175, 51.434444, 6.574722, 53.217222]}

The input file used above was obtained from Zenodo. The map below

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Next generation journal publishing and containers

Some challenges of working on the next generation of research infrastructures can be solved most effectively by talking to other people. That is why o2r team members Tom and Daniel were happy to learn about the announcement of an Open Journal Systems (OJS) workshop organised by Heidelberg University Publising (heiUP).

The o2r team was a little bit the odd one out. Other workshop participants

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WWU workshop on Reproducible Research

Reproducible research is a topic relevant for all scientific disciplines. We in the o2r project have a continued focus on the challenges originating in the software stacks and visualialisations for the analysis of geospatial data. But that does not mean that our experiences may not be helpful for other disciplines. In does also not mean that our approaches for improving research reproducibility and reusability can not profit from learning about challenges and solutions in other domains.

That is why we decided to reach out to the local scientific community and talk about reproducibility. We invited all professors and post-docs of the University of Münster (WWU) to a workshop at the Institute for Geoinformatics. Why only seniour researchers? One goal was to start discussions about collaborating on new projects and writing proposals, and we thought this group would be interested in that. We welcomed over 20 researchers across the full diversity of WWU, e.g., neuroscience, landscape ecology, business informatics, and psychology. The event was held in German and all material is available on the workshop website.

We thank our colleagues for the interesting discussions and new perspectives on a topic we thought we would have a good grasp of - there’s so much more to learn! Special thanks go to

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