Ievobio Lightning Talk Proposal

The rOpenSci Project

Carl Boettiger, Scott Chamberlain, Karthik Ram

Sharing scientific data is a win for individual scientists as well as for the larger enterprise of other researchers, publishers, funders, educators, and the general public. Despite the rapid increase of public data, most researchers continue to work on their own data just as before.  We lack the both the tools and training to quickly and easily leverage such data.  To address some of these challenges, we have created the rOpenSci project.

The project creates tools in the form of R packages – a powerful data-manipulation and visualization environment familiar to many researchers – that interface with the major data repositories to make serious data exploration and analysis easy and script-able. We hope to provide a model other researchers and databases can replicate for interfacing with researchers, interfacing with R.  Our packages are open-source and developed in the open from their inception.  The rOpenSci project is becoming a means of discovering just how many databases are available, and a common environment in which to allow them to interact. In the past year the project has won a software award, $5,000 support for a full-time summer intern, attracted a world-class set of advisors, and authored 28 different software packages.