9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 5: Response Paper

The Challenge: Mistakes go uncaught and uncorrected. Incorrect information or interpretations can be introduced into the literature and persist for a while; but ideally, these errors will be found and weeded out. This paragraph could describe something specific you learned from the readings you didn’t already know, and/or a personal experience you’ve had that really brought home the challenge of science as self-correcting.

The Tool: Dynamic executable paper. Describe what you did in fulfilling this activity. What snags did you hit? What made this process easier or more difficult? Did you find any errors?

  • Download RStudio and complete the RMarkDown lessons. Try producing a figure from data you’ve collected or data from your lab. If you don’t have access to such data, find an openly shared RMarkDown document and reproduce a figure from that paper.
  • Download Zotero if you don’t already have it, and check for retracted papers. If none are flagged, add a retracted paper from Retraction Watch and see if Zotero correctly flags it as retracted. Is this flag noticeable enough to be a useful tool in preventing use of retracted papers?

Critical evaluation of the tool. What is the promise of this tool in addressing this challenge? What are the biggest obstacles? 

This response paper should be about 1-page long, single-spaced. Total points: 3.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments