WORCS: A Workflow for Open Reproducible Code in Science

Tracking #: 664-1644

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. The purpose of the workflow is to lower the threshold for adoption of open science principles. It is based on established best practices, and can be used either in parallel to, or in absence of, top-down requirements by journals, institutions, and funding bodies. To facilitate widespread adoption, the WORCS principles have been implemented in the R package `worcs`, which offers an RStudio project template and utility functions for specific workflow steps. This paper introduces the conceptual workflow, discusses how it meets different standards for open science, and addresses the functionality provided by the `R` implementation, `worcs`. This paper is primarily targeted towards scholars conducting research projects in R, conducting research that involves academic prose, analysis code, and (optionally) tabular data. However, the workflow is flexible enough to accommodate other scenarios, and offers a sensible starting point for customized solutions. The source code for the `R` package and manuscript, and a list of [user examples of WORCS projects](https://github.com/cjvanlissa/worcs/tree/master#adoption-of-worcs-by-users), are available at https://github.com/cjvanlissa/worcs.


Previous Version: 


  • Reviewed

Data repository URLs: 

Date of Submission: 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Date of Decision: 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Nanopublication URLs:



Solicited Reviews:

1 Comment

Meta-Review by Editor

I agree with reviewers 2 and 3 that this manuscript has sufficiently resolved the reported issues and can thereby be accepted for publication. Our definition of a resource paper covers "datasets, benchmarks, software tools/frameworks/services, methodologies, and protocols", and in my judgement the workflow you are presenting is sufficiently covered by the concepts of "frameworks", "methodologies", and "protocols". Contrary to reviewer 1, I therefore judge the manuscript to fall into the category of a resource paper and does not have to be evaluated according to the stricter criteria for novelty and evaluation results that hold for research papers.

Tobias Kuhn (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1267-0234)