R4E to expand the reach of community-led reproducibility education with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

In this post, the author, along with the Reproducibility for Everyone Team, announces support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

An exciting new phase for R4E

Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E) is a community-led educational project, providing practical and accessible workshops to introduce the concept of reproducibility to researchers. We demonstrate reproducible tools and methods that can improve research by making it more efficient, transparent, and rigorous. Since 2018, R4E volunteer instructors have reached over 2000 researchers globally through over 30 workshops.

As researchers ourselves, we understand the power of an R4E workshop participant discovering a new tool or a resource. For example, when a researcher discovers a tool that allows a tedious, manual data processing step in their work to be reproducibly automated, it frees their time and reduces manual errors. These moments of discovery are the beginning of the R4E workshop participant’s journey into a new practice of reproducibility. Following the workshop, a participant might tap into the open ecosystem we’re part of to join The Carpentries for a course on scientific programming. They might use Addgene to share their reagents. Or they might run their own R4E workshop for their peers. Connecting researchers with the rich, growing landscape of reproducibility brings long term gains — the research, the researcher, and the new open projects they adopt all benefit.

Our R4E volunteer community continues to be the driver of R4E’s success. Volunteers collaborate to identify and fill educational gaps for researchers around the world. They organize opportunities for scientists to connect with relevant, practical reproducibility content. Our volunteers update curriculum and iterate to improve the R4E workshops based on critical participant feedback. They work to meet researchers where they are to create effective educational experiences for everyone. R4E volunteers recently wrote an article for researchers that introduces them to reproducibility. Learn more about R4E from the volunteers by reading their new preprint.

We are excited to announce our new grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). A new era of opportunity has arrived for community-led reproducibility education. R4E’s volunteer community’s expertise and peer network, with the support of CZI, will be able to better coordinate their workshops to reach many more people. CZI and R4E both work to support open and rigorous research, and CZI understands that this must include supporting researchers’ educational needs. “While reproducibility is a principle that more and more scientists aim to adhere to, there is often a significant gap in how to integrate reproducibility tools and practices into research,” said CZI Science Program Officer, Dario Taraborelli. “The Reproducibility for Everyone workshop series has brought awareness of these practices to communities throughout biomedicine. CZI is proud to support their work as they continue to train life scientists and establish a scalable model.”

With CZI’s support, we will start the reproducibility journey for thousands more researchers. In partnership with our new fiscal sponsor, Code for Science & Society, we will lay the foundation for R4E’s sustainability and build accountable governance. R4E will focus on two goals over the next two years: sustainability and scaling. We are excited to hire a full-time coordinator, who will establish an annual circuit of core conferences and sponsorships for R4E workshops. To scale R4E, we will grow in reach and diversity in instructor identities, regions, disciplines, and languages. We will focus on governance and accountability planning, organization, and outreach. As our work begins in earnest, we welcome suggestions for conferences and sponsors.

We appreciate the support of CZI and the community. We invite you to contribute as an instructor, a content creator, a sponsor, or conference organizer! It is easy to get involved. Join our next R4E community meeting or let us know you wish to be involved by filling out this short form! We welcome you to join us in this exciting new phase of our journey.