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The project Opening Reproducible Research (http://o2r.info) tries to reduce the barrier to reproducible research by developing a convention and supporting tools for Executable Research Compendia (ERCs, https://doi.org/10.1045/january2017-nuest) which include (i) the article, (ii) data, (iii) code, and (iv) the runtime environment to reproduce the study. The ERC provides a well-structured container for both the needs of journals (ERC as the item under review), archives (suitable metadata and packaging formats), and researchers (literally everything needed to re-do an analysis is there). It relies on Docker to define and store the runtime environment. ERCs should be simple enough to be created manually and absorb best practices for organizing digital workspaces. Complementary, an online creation service automatically creates ERC, including Dockerfile and Docker image, from typical user workspaces for less experienced users. A validation and manipulation service will allow (a) users to create an ERC for their workflows with minimal required input, (b) users to interact with published ERC, e.g. (peer) review the contents, or manipulate parameters of the workflow and explore interactive graphics, and (c) platform providers (e.g. journals, data repositories, archives, universities) to integrate o2r building blocks to expand their procedures with exectuable containers. The reference implementation focuses on the geoscience domain and the R language.
We show which steps and aspects of publishing and properly archiving computational research with containers can or cannot be automated for a specific community of practice, and point to future challenges. We will share the concepts behind the ERC (http://o2r.info/erc-spec) and the state of the o2r architecture (http://o2r.info/architecture) and software (https://github.com/o2r-project).