A Framework for Moving Beyond Computational Reproducibility: Lessons from Three Reproductions of Geographical Analyses of COVID-19

Peter Kedron, Sarah Bardin, Joseph Holler, Joshua Gilman, Bryant Grady, Megan Seeley, Xin Wang, Wenxin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite recent calls to make geographical analyses more reproducible, formal attempts to reproduce or replicate published work remain largely absent from the geographic literature. The reproductions of geographic research that do exist typically focus on computational reproducibility—whether results can be recreated using data and code provided by the authors—rather than on evaluating the conclusion and internal validity and evidential value of the original analysis. However, knowing if a study is computationally reproducible is insufficient if the goal of a reproduction is to identify and correct errors in our knowledge. We argue that reproductions of geographic work should focus on assessing whether the findings and claims made in existing empirical studies are well supported by the evidence presented. We aim to facilitate this transition by introducing a model framework for conducting reproduction studies, demonstrating its use, and reporting the findings of three exemplar studies. We present three model reproductions of geographical analyses of COVID-19 based on a common, open access template. Each reproduction attempt is published as an open access repository, complete with pre-analysis plan, data, code, and final report. We find each study to be partially reproducible, but moving past computational reproducibility, our assessments reveal conceptual and methodological concerns that raise questions about the predictive value and the magnitude of the associations presented in each study. Collectively, these reproductions and our template materials offer a practical framework others can use to reproduce and replicate empirical spatial analyses and ultimately facilitate the identification and correction of errors in the geographic literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-184
Number of pages22
JournalGeographical Analysis
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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