WORCS: A Workflow for Open Reproducible Code in Science

Tracking #: 659-1639

Responsible editor: 

Tobias Kuhn

Submission Type: 

Resource Paper


Adopting open science principles can be challenging and time-intensive, because doing so requires substantial conceptual education and training in the use of new tools. This paper introduces the Workflow for Open Reproducible Code in Science (WORCS): A step-by-step procedure that researchers can follow to make a research project open and reproducible, accompanied by an open source software implementation that automates these steps. The purpose of the workflow is to lower the threshold for adoption of open science principles. It is based on best practices, and can be used either in parallel to, or in absence of, top-down requirements by journals, institutions, and funding bodies. This workflow is primarily targeted towards scholars working in R on a private computer, conducting research that involves academic prose, analysis code, and (optionally) tabular data - but it is flexible enough to accommodate many other scenarios. To facilitate widespread adoption, the WORCS principles are implemented in the R package worcs, which offers an RStudio project template that is, effectively, a "one-click solution" for R users, and utility functions for specific workflow steps. This paper addresses the design of the workflow, discusses how it meets different standards for open science, and provides examples of the implementation of worcs in R. All source code for the R package, and replication materials for the manuscript, are available at https://github.com/cjvanlissa/worcs.



  • Under Review

Data repository URLs: 


Date of Submission: 

Friday, September 25, 2020