Winners of the Library Innovation Prizes for Research Rigor, Transparency, and Reproducibility and Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize

For the second year the Brown University Library and the Carney Institute for Brain Science have partnered to recognize Brown students’ innovations in enhancing research rigor, transparency, and reproducibility. Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Specialist and librarian for Computer Science and Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences (CLPS), and Dr. Jason Ritt, Scientific Director of Quantitative Neuroscience, Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, collaborated to develop prizes to honor innovations in reproducibility as documented by students in their theses and/or publications with Brown faculty.

Janet Chang

CLPS undergraduate student Janet Chang was awarded the Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize. Janet also received one of the three Library Innovation Prizes for improving the transparency and rigor of online-based research methods used in social and behavioral research. Janet’s thesis “An Online Behavioral Research Paradigm Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, JSPsych & PsiTurk: A Pilot Study Assessing Hierarchical Abstract Sequential Processing” was supervised by Dr. Theresa Desrochers, Rosenberg Family Assistant Professor of Brain Science, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize judges Professors Matt Nassar and David Sheinberg commented: “The project developed an online version of a sequential processing task that had previously been administered in a laboratory setting, and collected online data that reproduced some of the primary results from the original study. The submission responded directly to the award criteria in several ways, first by developing a tool that would enable easy replication of a published study, second by evaluating the degree to which the findings from the original study were reproduced, and third by sharing the entire codebase used to administer the task and collect data, validating that experimental procedures could be reproduced exactly by another researcher in another location.” Janet’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Alexander Koh-Bell

The second Library Innovation Prize was awarded to Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student Alexander Koh-Bell for the honors thesis project “The Aerodynamic Effect of an Active Gurney Flap: Giving a Wind Turbine Blade its Wings” supervised by Dr. Kenny Breuer, Professor of Engineering. Alex developed and publicly shared experimental protocols, data and code, enhancing the transparency and replicability of methods of data collection and analysis, and allowing future researchers to reproduce and adapt their work and potential to continue discoveries into the future. Alex’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository. 

Benjamin Boatwright

The third Library Innovation Prize was awarded to DEEPS graduate student Benjamin Boatwright for the dissertation “CTX Stereo Digital Elevation Models of Noachian Proglacial Paleolakes and Pit-Floored Craters”, supervised by Dr. James Head, Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Geological Sciences, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. Ben also developed a public facing repository and website to publicly share experimental protocols, data and code. Upon receiving the news Ben commented “I am legitimately invested in making sure all of my research data is accessible – it’s a real problem particularly in my field where so much of the work is computational but the datasets aren’t always easy to find!” Ben’s dissertation is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Library Innovation Prize panel of volunteer judges:

  • Emily Ferrier, Librarian for STEM, Social Sciences & Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science

Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize volunteer judges:

  • Dr. David Sheinberg, Professor of Neuroscience
  • Dr. Matt Nassar, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Congratulations to these students for their innovations and for the positive impact they have made on enhancing their academic fields’ rigor, transparency, and reproducibility!