As a corollary to the novel techniques in scientific publishing, the analyses or even the data acquisition should no longer be separated from the published data. Supplements are commonly used in scholarly publishing to open the access to graphs and scripts underlying the article. But, what about the original data?
Sweave has broaden my perspective on the capabilities to include the data pool in the articles discussing them. It’s a tool that allows you to embed the R code for complete data analyses in latex documents. With Sweave you can create dynamic reports, “which can be updated automatically if data or analysis change.”
A great chance, not only for the researchers, but also for the readers. Now they have real access to the steps of analysis, an imperative if you want to evaluate the validity of complex data, like fMRI brain scans. These can only be obtained by means of devices which cost millions, unaffordable enough compared to the methods in astrophysics or climate research.
Leisch, F. Sweave: Dynamic generation of statistical reports using literate data analysis. In Wolfgang Härdle and Bernd Rönz, editors, Compstat 2002 – Proceedings in Computational Statistics, pages 575-580. Physica Verlag, Heidelberg, 2002. ISBN 3-7908-1517-9.