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Removing Barriers to Reproducible Research in Archaeology

Karoune, Emma; Plomp, Esther

Reproducible research (Reproducible research is when data can be reanalysed taking the same steps and producing the same or similar result) is being implemented at different speeds in different disciplines, and Archaeology, as a discipline that sits at the intersection of the sciences and humanities, is at the start of this journey. Enabling reproducibility of your work by others is an important step in ensuring research quality. There are currently many barriers to moving towards reproducible research such as upskilling researchers in the practices, software and infrastructure needed to do reproducible research and also the need to address how we can, as a discipline, deal with issues like sensitive data. 

In this article, we seek to introduce reproducible research in an understandable manner so that archaeological researchers can learn where and how to start with this approach. We describe what reproducible archaeological research can look like and suggest three different computational skill levels of constructing reproducible research workflows (a research workflow is the different parts of a research lifecycle such as data collection, data analysis, data archiving, etc, and making all stages reproducible by using a history tracking system (version control) and transparent documation). Finally, in an extensive appendix, we address common questions about reproducible research to remove the stigma about these issues and suggest ways to overcome them.


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