The material on Evolv-ED

There are two basic kinds of documenst on Evolv-ED:

  1. Article documents that provide practical instructions to facilitate the use of resources in Eco-Evolutionary research.
  2. Basic information sheets about resources: data and software pages.

1. Articles


Summary

Articles — These are the primary products published on Evolv-ED. These are step-by-step instruction guidebooks that are typically (but not always) literate programming examples: they include computer code, which is described in detail for educational purposes. To facilitate the use of these examples, they are self-contained individual documents webpage files (.html).

Resource evolutionArticles elaborate how a particular result or results can be obtained using a set of resources, which are either software libraries, packages applications or data items. Unfortunately (or fortunately) all of these resources evolve: they change through time. Every article is built using a specific set of resources, documenting it with use case. As resources themselves get older so do specific articles: they are on a trajectory of becoming obsolete.

Versioning — The aging of resources does not mean that they are are not needed, or that they would not be of any use in research. On the contrary: to keep the scientific nowledge alive, we must be able to reproduce previous results with the updated tools. This starts with educational material, that articles primarily represent. To counteract this aging multiple versions of articles can be published on Evolv-ED, each recording the exact software versions that were used to build it.

Archival — Evolv-ED guarantees the access to earlier articles by archiving them on Zenodo, a general-purpose scientific repository operated by CERN.


Article types

There are three major articles types currently on Evolv-ED:

  1. How-tos (short, technical guidebooks)
  2. Tutorials (longer, detailed instructions on conducting analyses in a subject)
  3. Research logs (documentation of scientific research)

1. How-to articles

How-to articles are short guidebooks that have a clearly stated, distinct, technical aim, which is achieved using a set of tools/resources. Such aims include bringing data items into various forms, deriving specific variables from basic data sources, calculation of specific statistics or the derivations of figure types - to mention a few. The steps needed to reach this goal is elaborated step-by-step, focusing on the lucid, detailed, complete documentation of the process. Most how-to guides connect multiple data and/or software resources, but this is not a necessity.

2. Tutorials

Tutorial articles are similar to how-tos, and also include a step-by-step description of a scientific pipeline. These are longer, and have a larger-scale, more abstract aim that is targeted at one or more scientific question(s). This necessitates a broader frame and a shift in the focus of text: tutorials include the rationale of why particular analytical decisions are made, rather than the pure documentation of work steps.

3. Research logs

Research logs (not yet!) are meant to accompany scientific papers that typically cannot accomodate the detailed desciption of the work steps they report due to length constraints. Nevertheless, the accurate description of how a particular scientific results are derived is crucially important for a sustainably reproducible research environment. Evolv-ED offers a platform on which these can be communicated, including the eventual updating of the research pipeline (updated versions of research logs). The issue of constantly changing data is getting tackled together with the related chronosphere project, authors interested in writing research logs are encouraged to utilize this project’s features. Reserach logs will be included in a large-scale, openly-developed study on reproducibilty and replicability in eco-evolutionary research.

Tutorial and log series

Each of the article types above is expected to be completable in a single sitting (up to 2 hours), which is often not enough to provide a detailed introduction to a subject or to document a comprehensive study. Therefore, Evolv-ED offers the potential to link multiple articles together in a sequential fashion.

Articles can be found under the Articles menu item above, as well as on the individual pages about data and software that are demonstrated in these tutorials.

The articles on Evolv-ED are permanently deposited publications.

2. Data and software pages

A small page of text and is provided for the used resources in each article. The purpose of these is to provide and overview of the used resource and to guide users to their online presence on the web.


Licensing


All material published in Evolv-ED are published under modified a CC BY 4.0. Feel free to use the code examples in any way you want.