Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

First it was pharma companies withholding "unhelpful" data, then it was ClimateGate, and now there's this:

One of the founders of the controversial 'Baby Einstein' range of products is taking the University of Washington to court in an attempt to force the institution's scientists to release their raw data to him...William Clark...wants records relating to two studies published in 2004 and 2007. The latter found an "association between early viewing of baby DVDs/videos and poor language development" while the former suggested "efforts to limit television viewing in early childhood may be warranted".

If someone challenged your results, could you reassemble the programs and data you'd used to produce them? And what would happen if you couldn't? Software Carpentry isn't just about making scientists more productive; the skills that will help them do more, faster, will also make their work more traceable and reproducible.

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