Data Sharing in Publications

John Kitchin has a really interesting article in ACS Catalysis on Effective Data Sharing in Scientific Publishing. In it, Kitchin discusses various strategies for embedding supporting data—such as tables and processing code—in a publication's PDF or source file so that other researchers can recreate the results or use the data for further analysis.

He begins by noting that one can simply embed supporting documents directly in the PDF, \LaTeX or Word document. The problem with that method is that it's easy for the actual data and its representation in the final paper to diverge.

A better solution, Kitchin says, is to use Org mode and generate the published tables and results directly from data embedded in the manuscript source. Followers of Kitchin's blog (or even Irreal) will recognize that this is Kitchin's longtime publishing process. He and his group write their papers in Org mode along with the supporting data and code. That way, future researchers have everything they need to reproduce and extend the results.

If you're interested in using Org mode to write papers or in reproducible research, you'll enjoy Kitchin's paper.

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