Course description for The Open Science and Reproducible Research course (for bug counters + people that count other things too)

Comments are welcome- here’s a draft course description for the course I plan to teach.

Are you a grad student interested in developing reproducible research skills? You should sign up for:
Open science and reproducible research
I’m developing an open science course for graduate students, based on using legacy and existing datasets. At the beginning of the course, groups of 3-5 students will be given (or choose) a legacy dataset set, and together, we will work through the process of data cleaning, documentation, sharing, data manipulation, analysis, interpretation, write-up, and eventual submission to a journal, all using open science and reproducible research practices. The course will be delivered as a 2 credit hour Special Topics in Entomology course (ENT 890), is open to ENT, EEEBB and LTER grad students. Enrollment is strictly capped at 12, so signup today! Meeting times TBD, based on student schedules. For more information, contact

Reasons to like this:
• Students get experience with academic publishing early in their programs, including authoring a paper!
• Helps deal with backlog of under-utilized data generated by large scale projects
• Training which allows labs to get in compliance with new guidelines from federal agencies
• Guest speakers include leaders from the open science community
• Gets a new generation of scientists starting out on an open science foot.

Topics to be covered:

• Open Science
• Data hygiene
• Data cleaning (for unhygienic data)
• Metadata
• Ways to share data
• Analysis workflows
• Intro to scripted analysis
• Intro to R
• Integrating R and version control software
• Collaborative coding
• Open notebooking
• Collaborative writing
• Submitting a manuscript to an open-access journal
• Data creation and authorship
• CC licensing
• Understanding other people’s data


About cbahlai

Hi! I'm Christie and I'm an applied ecologist and postdoc in the midwestern US. I am an #otherpeoplesdata wrangler, stats enthusiast, and, of course, a bug counter. I cohabitate with five other vertebrates: one spouse, one preschooler, one teeny baby and two cats.
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3 Responses to Course description for The Open Science and Reproducible Research course (for bug counters + people that count other things too)

  1. Hi Christie,
    I teach a 4th yr Research Methods course and would love to add an element of this into that course. Would you be willing to post your course notes so that others could apply to their courses? Of course this would include full acknowledgement of the original source. I just want to make my course even more practical for students going off into the world as working scientists. Thanks!

    • cbahlai says:

      Of course Andrea! I plan to be working in the open for this course, just like I’ll expect my students to be. One of the broader goals is to develop training materials that can be picked up, adapted and remixed by others for their own uses!

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