Designing for Reproducibility: A Qualitative Study of Challenges and Opportunities in High Energy Physics

Reproducibility should be a cornerstone of scientific research and is a growing concern among the scientific community and the public. Understanding how to design services and tools that support documentation, preservation and sharing is required to maximize the positive impact of scientific research. We conducted a study of user attitudes towards systems that support data preservation in High Energy Physics, one of science's most data-intensive branches. We report on our interview study with 12 experimental physicists, studying requirements and opportunities in designing for research preservation and reproducibility. Our findings suggest that we need to design for motivation and benefits in order to stimulate contributions and to address the observed scalability challenge. Therefore, researchers' attitudes towards communication, uncertainty, collaboration and automation need to be reflected in design. Based on our findings, we present a systematic view of user needs and constraints that define the design space of systems supporting reproducible practices.