Seven Years of Reproducible Research

Christophe Pouzat has posted the slides from his talk Seven Years of Reproducible Research: From R / Sweave to Org. As the title suggests, the talk covers Pouzat's evolution from using R and Sweave for reproducible research to using Org mode and Babel.

It's clear that Org/Babel is the better solution for most researchers. Instead of being restricted to just R and LaTeX, Org/Babel lets you use a simple markup language that can be exported to many different formats. Instead of being restricted to R, you can use whatever language is most appropriate and even mix several languages in a single Org file.

If you're a researcher interested in reproducible research—and if you're not, you should be—Org/Babel offers an easy way to get started and practice reproducible research on a continuing basis. Of course, you will have to learn Emacs but, the wailing from hipsters notwithstanding, a basic fluency with Emacs requires an investment of an hour or so. Once you start using it, you'll find yourself learning more and more of its features. The time savings you'll earn from Org/Babel for writing up your research—even if you don't use reproducible research—will more than repay the modest investment in effort required to get started.

Spend three or four minutes reading Pouzat's slides and see if you don't agree. It really will make your life better.

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  • I used to dump results and log messages to output files and pull them into LaTeX documents so the "pain" of learning a new tool pales in comparison.