Published December 11, 2020 | Version v1
Presentation Open

The Turing Way: Transparent research through the scientific lifecycle

  • 1. The Alan Turing Institute


Kirstie's presentation for the NeurIPS 2020 workshop: The pre-registration experiment: an alternative publication model for machine learning research ( on 11 December 2020.

Abstract: Preregistration is a practice that can be used as part of a broader ecosystem of open research practices to ensure that scientific work can be trusted. By writing down in advance the planned analyses, and then sharing data, analysis code and the computational environment used to generate the results, researchers can more effectively stand on the shoulders of their peers and colleagues and deliver high quality, trustworthy and verifiable outputs. The Turing Way is a handbook to support students, their supervisors, funders and journal editors in ensuring that transparent research is "too easy not to do". It includes training material on version control, analysis testing, collaborating in distributed groups, open and transparent communication skills, and effective management of diverse research projects. The Turing Way is openly developed and any and all questions, comments and recommendations are welcome at our github repository: In this talk, Kirstie Whitaker, lead developer of The Turing Way, will dig into some of the barriers to transparent research including the changes to incentive structures in academia that are necessary for preregistration to be most effective. Although she won't provide many answers, all participants should leave the talk with questions they can investigate to make sure they are delivering the highest quality reliable and reusable research on their open research journey, and how they can contribute to improve The Turing Way for future readers.

Bio: Kirstie Whitaker leads the Tools, Practices and Systems Research Programme at The Alan Turing Institute (London, UK). Her work covers a broad range of interests and methods, but the driving principle is to improve the lives of neurodivergent people and people with mental health conditions. Dr Whitaker uses magnetic resonance imaging to study child and adolescent brain development and participatory citizen science to educate non-autistic people about how they can better support autistic friends and colleagues. She is the lead developer of The Turing Way, an openly developed educational resource to enable more reproducible data science. Kirstie is a passionate advocate for making science "open for all" by promoting equity and inclusion for people from diverse backgrounds, and by changing the academic incentive structure to reward collaborative working. She is the chair of the Turing Institute's Ethics Advisory Group, a Fulbright scholarship alumna and was a 2016/17 Mozilla Fellow for Science. Kirstie was named, with her collaborator Petra Vertes, as a 2016 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine. You can find more information at her lab website:

Useful links


This work was supported by The UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund under the EPSRC Grant EP/T001569/1, particularly the "Tools, Practices and Systems" theme within that grant, and by The Alan Turing Institute under the EPSRC grant EP/N510129/1.



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