Participant Guidelines

As all ReproHack events, we strive to make this event open and inclusive to all. As such the event is governed by the ReproHack Code of Conduct and you should read it before participating. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code.

We are all excited by the progress made by many authors to make their papers reproducible by publishing associated code and data.

We know how challenging it can be so we want to showcase the value of the practice, both for original authors and as a learning experience for those who attempt to reproduce the work.

It’s imperative to note that ReproHacks are by no means an attempt to criticise or discredit work. We see reproduction as beneficial scientific activity in itself, with useful outcomes for authors and valuable learning experiences for the participants and the research community as a whole.

Overall ReproHack Objectives

  1. Practical Experience in Reproducibility

  2. Giving feedback to Authors

  3. Thinking more broadly about opportunities and challenges associated with Research Reprodicibility

The Turing Way Community, & Scriberia. (2019, July 11). Illustrations from the Turing Way book dashes.

Considerations when Reviewing

In addition to complying to the ReproHack Code of Conduct, please also consider the following when developing your feedback to the authors:

  • Reproducibility is hard!

    Authors submitting their materials for us to work with are incredibly brave. Often, it might be the first time that someone else has attempted to reproduce their work so things that might be obviously missing from a reviewers point of view might have been impossible to pick up.

  • Without them there would be no ReproHack.

    Indeed, without the authors putting their materials forward, there would be nothing for us to work with and learn from! So do show gratitude and appreciation for their efforts to open up their work.

  • Constructive criticism only please!

    The purpose of a ReproHack is not to tear other people's work down. It is for all of us to learn by interacting with the materials. So please make sure your feedback is not personal or unecessarily critical. Instead, try to focus on your perspective, conveying any difficulties you experienced and offering suggestions on how your experiences with the materials could be improved.

Ultimately, the purpose of the events is to make science better for all.

Tips for Reproducing & Reviewing

Selecting Papers

There are a number of strategies and information available to you to help you select a paper to work on:

  • Focus on papers associated with your event

    If the event you are attending has a particular theme, you may want to focus on papers submitted specifically for that event. A list of such associated papers will appear at the bottom of your event page.
  • Explore central paper list

    The full list of papers submitted to the hub can be found on our Papers page. You can search the list for specific terms or filter papers by tags relating to the domain or tools and languages used (for example, you could focus on papers that use R or python as their analysis language).

  • Use information supplied by the author

    This includes a short description of the paper, a pitch for why you should attempt to reproduce it, tips on what to focus on when reviewing and tags indicating the domain or tools and languages used.

  • Use paper metrics

    Any paper that has already been reviewed will have the number of reviews and mean reproducibility score displayed. This metric is in no way standardised, can be quite subjective and also reflects reviewers familiarity with the tools and methods used by the authors, so it is not a standardised and objective reflection of quality of the effort. However, they can be useful as an indicator of potential level of challenge. For example, a higher reproducibility score could present a slightly easier experience for a wider range of participants. If you are up for a challenge, you could try a paper with a lower score. Or, even better, you could venture into the unknown and select a paper that has not been reviewed yet! You will learn something whatever you choose!

Once you've selected your paper, rememeber to register your selection in the hackpad using the following template:

### **Paper:** <Title of the paper reproduced>
**Reviewers:** Reviewer 1, Reviewer 2 etc.

Reviewing as an auditor

Auditing is defined as the verification activity of a process or quality system, to ensure compliance to requirements. In the case of reproducible research, what we are aiming for broadly is to produce materials that are FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

The Turing Way Community, & Scriberia. (2019, July 11). Illustrations from the Turing Way book dashes.

Here's some tips on more specific aspects of the materials to focus on:


  • How easy was it to gain access to the materials?

  • Did you manage to download all the files you needed?


  • How easy / automated was installation?

  • Did you have any problems?

  • How did you solve them?


  • Were data clearly separated from code and other items?

  • Were large data files deposited in a trustworthy data repository and referred to using a persistent identifier?

  • Were data documented ...somehow...


  • Were you able to fully reproduce the paper?

  • How automated was the process of reproducing the paper?

  • If the analysis was not fully reproducible:

  • Were there missing dependencies?

  • Was the computational environment not adequately described / captured?

  • Was there bugs in the code?

  • Did code run but results (e.g. model outputs, tables, figures) differ to those published? By how much?


Was there adequate documentation describing:

  • how to install necessary software including non-standard dependencies?

  • how to use materials to reproduce the paper?

  • how to cite the materials, ideally in a form that can be copy and pasted?


  • How easy was it to navigate the materials?

  • How easy was it to link analysis code to:

  • the plots it generates
  • sections in the manuscript in which it is described and results reported

Review as a User

Another perspective that can be useful in a review is that of a user, and in particular that of two distinct user personas:

  • New User: the unfamiliarity with the tools or domain of a new user can generate very useful feedback on aspects which may seem obvious and be easily missed by authors or more experienced reviewers. Such feedback can help uncover ways to make materials accessible to a wider range of users.
  • Invested User: another interesting perspective is that of an invested user who can see themselves making use of and building on the materials and can evaluate it for fitness of purpose. Such a perspective can generate useful feedback for improving usability and even uncovering new features work could be used for.

Review as a Community Member!

  • Acknowledge author effort: another reminder that a lot of work with likely little official support and guidance has gone into materials the authors have provided.

  • Give feedback in good faith: there is a lot wrong with our current publication system but authors and the work they have submitted are part of the solution not the problem.

  • Focus on community benefits and system level solutions: Ultimately we are here to help make modern research better! So let's focus on system level benefits and solutions and help develop advice and best practice on a modern, fit-for-purpose reproducible research compendium!

Finished early?

Explore the work more deeply:

  • Try and run additional analyses.

  • Create new plots.

  • Combine materials with your own or other open materials available on the web!

Remember to submit your review!

The most important part of the activity for both reviewers and authors is documenting your experiences through the review feedback form, so please make sure to complete it, ideally before the end of the day.

Please note that if a paper is associated with a specific event only, reviews will not be able to be submitted after one week past the date of the event.