In an effort to share research results and to teach students how statistics is used to answer scientific questions, we are developing an approach that allows authors to create documents that collect all aspects of a data analysis into a â€œdocumentâ€ so that the computations and results are reproducible, reusable, and amenable to extensions.
The aim is for these documents to contain different branches of exploration, the underlying computations used in the analysis, and interactive controls that allow the reader to modify computations. These documents contain various pieces of information (e.g. text, code, data, exploration paths) and can be processed to create regular descriptive papers in various formats (e.g. PDF, HTML), as well as acting as a database of the analysis that can be explored in rich new ways.
Similar to Open Source software, we think it is vital that the work of the community of researchers is accessible to the community of educators so that students can experience statistical applications and learn how to approach analyses themselves. Our implementation for this system is based on widely used and standardized frameworks, including XML, XSL, and R.
This work is joint with Duncan Temple Lang, UC Davis.