Best Practices For Sharing Research Software

It enables page elements to move, react to user actions like clicks, and handle any operation beyond simply existing on the page. Second, coding projects, especially long-term ones, give you something to show for your work. It’s one thing to put “Python” on your resume — it’s another to show you built an entire website or application from scratch.

They’re also useful for test-driven development, which I believe fits the field of research quite nicely. In industry and academia nobody applauds you for software qualities that are not needed. Try to reconsider what the point of the code is that you are writing.


Consider metadata that allow software and code to be linked to publications, data sources, funding support, and other digital objects related to research. NIH also suggests considering metadata recommendation provided by repositories specialized to manage and share software when developing https://globalcloudteam.com/ and releasing software. Documentation Contrary to popular expectations, you do not need to write extensive documentation or a user’s guide for the code to still be useful to others4. However, it is worth providing a minimal README file to describe what the code does, and how to run it.

To improve clinical practice, there are important challenges that should be overcome in all areas of structured health-care data . In observational and randomised clinical research that uses EHRs and other structured data, the source of data, its manipulation, and data governance are of crucial importance to extrapolating results. Clarity from the stakeholders is needed to provide a quality framework to enhance the design and application of clinical research that increasingly depends on these new sources of data. This Review shows the collaboration of a wide range of international stakeholders with the task of improving the use of routinely collected health-care data. The CODE-EHR framework was coordinated by the European Society of Cardiology , a non-profit organisation of health-care professionals, and the consortium, a public–private partnership funded by the European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative. We aim to explain opportunities and limitations of using structured health-care data in research and develop a framework for a broad audience of global stakeholders across all disease areas.

Studies of Code for Better Practices

Code may also be seen as providing a private competitive advantage to researchers. We hope the code availability review41 will help establish such sharing as the norm. Moreover, we are advocating for code sharing as part of a broader culture change embracing transparency, reproducibility, and re-usability of research products.

These appear as projects get bigger (usually in response to a total break-down in quality control or long release lags). “On the other hand UNIT tests take a lot of time, which you might not have.” Not necessarily. In addition, time spent on formulating unit tests often helps with design , cuts down on time spent debugging, and can be used to help substantiate that research outputs are accurate. It may not be necessary to unit test everything, but for cases where it is not unduly difficult to unit test, the benefits are worth the investment. Normally, when I write a function, I check it is correct, but don’t take the time to write the full unittest structure.

Coding Standards And Best Practices To Follow

In depth interviews are when the interviewer prepares a discussion guide and interviews a series of participants one on one to explore behaviors, description, and motivations. Interview coding is a great way to analyze what you find in these interviews. Carefully derived consensus within the library community about how those rights should apply in certain recurrent situations.” Higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education. This Statement identifies what media scholars consider to be fair use of copyrighted works within media studies publishing in the United States. Each subsequent listed author was involved in the CODE-EHR consensus process and wrote or revised sections of text and revised the final manuscript for intellectual content.

These best practices will ensure how well the code review process can be optimized for maximum results. The process of code review has evolved over a while with the new developments in the software development cycle, however, the core intention remains the same. The basic idea is to inculcate the sense of collective ownership in the software development team which develops when they inspect the code as a team. No more getting angry at your teammate for changing a very crucial piece of code! No more headaches trying to figure out how to fix a small mistake without having to lose a whole day of work!

Coding Can Help You Better Understand The World Around You

AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative has established a list of items to report with your survey results that uphold the industry transparency standards. The list of items to report can vary based on the mode of your survey — online, phone, face to face, etc. Organizations who want to commit to upholding these standards can also become members of the Transparency Initiative.

Studies of Code for Better Practices

When you run a survey, the people who respond to your survey are called your sample because they are a sample of people from the larger population you are studying, such as adults who live in the U.S. A sampling frame is a list of information that will allow you to contact potential respondents – your sample – from a population. Ultimately, it’s the sampling frame that allows you to draw a sample from the larger population. For a mail-based survey, it’s a list of addresses in the geographic area in which your population is located; for an online panel survey, it’s the people in the panel; for a telephone survey, it’s a list of phone numbers.

A large body of research has shown that code reviews are the most cost-effective way of finding bugs in code ,. They are also a good way to spread knowledge and good practices around a team. In projects with shifting membership, such as most academic labs, code reviews help ensure that critical knowledge isn’t lost when a student or postdoc leaves the lab. Tests check to see whether the code matches the researcher’s expectations of its behavior, which depends on the researcher’s understanding of the problem at hand –. For example, in scientific computing, tests are often conducted by comparing output to simplified cases, experimental data, or the results of earlier programs that are trusted. Another approach for generating tests is to turn bugs into test cases by writing tests that trigger a bug that has been found in the code and will prevent the bug from reappearing unnoticed.

My Favorite Online Courses To Learn Refactoring And Best Practices To Improve Your Coding Skills And Become A Better Programmer

It is important to be as transparent as possible, including about any statistical techniques used to adjust the data. Allow respondents to skip a question or provide an explicit “don’t know” or “don’t want to answer” response, especially for difficult or sensitive questions. Requiring an answer increases the risk of respondents choosing to leave the survey early. Most nationally representative surveys in the U.S. offer questionnaires in both English and Spanish, with bilingual interviewers available in interviewer-administered modes. Arrange questions in an order that will be logical to respondents but not influence how they answer.

These conventions are by no means binding, but instead examples of how many programmers format their code. Consistency and readability are key ideas that should be utilized in the naming of variables. Regardless of how you choose to name your variables, always ensure that your naming conventions are consistent throughout the code.

There are many different services available for this purpose, most of which rely on the open-source tool Git. Since we are particularly patriotic at Pacmed, we use Gitlab, born and bred in the Netherlands. Just knowing those patterns and using them to solve different coding problems will build the coding sense and expand your knowledge about how to solve problems in general. Sometimes I just pause the course and go backward to revisit what I have done and why I have done it, this also helps me to learn better, you can do the same too. Specifications adequate for replication of indices or statistical modeling included in research reports.

  • It is therefore imperative that the programmer chooses or makes up a particular set of coding guidelines before the software project commences.
  • However, most scientists are never taught how to do this efficiently.
  • A time converter, in which the user submits a number of seconds and your program gives the equivalent in hours, minutes, days, etc.
  • Due to time restrictions or enthusiastic programmers who want immediate results for their code, commenting of code often takes a back seat.
  • Depending on your survey mode, you may have respondents who answer only part of your survey and then end the survey before finishing it.
  • Leaving academia reminded me that exists something else than the paper-oriented working method, to which PhD students are trained (and whose outcomes have often a number of readers smaller than the number of co-authors).

An everyday example of this type of best practice is to change your car’s oil every 5,000 miles. It is highly recommended by the manufacturer and not following it reduces the longevity of the vehicle. Another example of a best practice is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework. They find that some ways of working produce better outcomes than others. These can come from an individual or from groups as they exchange ideas and experience. Often, these best practices are written down, either in a book or online, to be shared with others.

However, since mail surveys cannot be automated, they work best when the flow of the questionnaire is relatively straightforward. Surveys with complex skip patterns based on Studies of Code for Better Practices prior responses may be confusing to respondents and therefore better suited for other modes. Below you will find recommendations on how to produce the best survey possible.


The main characteristic of research code is that it is harder to plan. Research by definition reaches into the unknown, and this also translates in program structures. As a researcher you often don’t have the time to refactor when your research slithers into a different direction that should translate into a different software structure. Documentation generation systems are pretty common but only lightly used until the project gets big when people who are forced to decode some bits often contribute a little more documentation. A formal Process (with a capital ‘P’) with regular planning meetings and release checklist and so on.

Are you persuaded to write bad code in order to fulfill certain academic goals? However as we are all too horribly aware, we have been ‘persuaded’ to write equally bad code in the commercial environment, or our lords and masters have been persuaded to have poor code written for them…. If your code does not work, or cannot be used otherwise, your so-called “research” is not reproducible, and should not have been published in first place. “Best effort” meant that if you don’t have programming expertise to speak of, don’t do it.

Peer briefing is the process of working with one or more neutral, independent peers to enhance the credibility of qualitative research. With Pattern coding, you group of similarly coded excerpts under one overarching code to describe a pattern. With Values coding, you code excerpts that pertain to the participant’s values, attitudes, and beliefs. After conducting an interview, transcription will allow you to take the contents of the interview and effectively analyse it. You can transcribe with varying levels of specificity, and utilize various methods from doing it manually, with auto-transcription software, or by outsourcing to transcription services.

Benefits Of Qualitative Coding

However, older respondents, those with lower incomes, or respondents living in rural areas are less likely to have reliable internet access or to be comfortable using computers. Online surveys may work well when the primary way you contact respondents is via email. It also may elicit more honest answers from respondents on sensitive topics because they will not have to disclose sensitive information directly to another person . There are pros and cons to each approach, and you should choose one based off what is most appropriate for your research. Intercoder reliability ensures that when you have multiple researchers coding a set of qualitative data, that they come to the same conclusions. Directed content analysis is a deductive approach to qualitative analysis where you start with an existing theory or framework and utilize qualitative data to either support or build upon that framework.

Doing this increases the probability that when programmers change the code, they will update the documentation at the same time. Experienced programmers add assertions to programs to check their operation because experience has taught them that everyone makes mistakes. An assertion is simply a statement that something holds true at a particular point in a program; as the example below shows, assertions can be used to ensure that inputs are valid, outputs are consistent, and so on. Anything that is repeated in two or more places is more difficult to maintain. Every time a change or correction is made, multiple locations must be updated, which increases the chance of errors and inconsistencies.

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