Teaching for Reproducibility

One impediment to reproducibility of statistical analyses is that the details of what is done (e.g., what is tried, then what else is tried when that does not seem satisfactory, etc.) are lost in between performing the analysis and writing up the results. In recent years, tools for facilitating the process of integrating statistical analysis and writing up a report have been developed. Sweave  was one of the first, developed for use with R. A more recent tool, R Markdown (also, as the name suggests, for use with R), has simpler syntax than Sweave. Recently, a group of mathematics and statistics professors tried using R Markdown in introductory statistics classes. See a short summary of their (positive) experience at Physics.org  (http://phys.org/news/2014-02-scientific-young.html), and the complete report (Ben et al, R Markdown: Integrating A Reproducible Analysis Tool into Introductory Statistics, Technology Innovations in Statistics Education, 8(1)) at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/90b2f5xh.

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