Reproducible Research and GIScience: An Evaluation Using GIScience Conference Papers

Authors Frank O. Ostermann , Daniel Nüst , Carlos Granell , Barbara Hofer , Markus Konkol

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Author Details

Frank O. Ostermann
  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Daniel Nüst
  • Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Germany
Carlos Granell
  • Institute of New Imaging Technologies, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón, Spain
Barbara Hofer
  • Christian Doppler Laboratory GEOHUM and Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Austria
Markus Konkol
  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands


Author contributions (see all authors contributed to conceptualisation, investigation (number of assessed papers in brackets), and writing - original draft; FO (33): writing - review & editing, software; DN (33): software, writing - review & editing, visualisation; CG (30): writing - review & editing, software; BH (21): writing - review & editing; MK (30). We thank Celeste R. Brennecka from the Scientific Editing Service of the University of Münster for her editorial support and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

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Frank O. Ostermann, Daniel Nüst, Carlos Granell, Barbara Hofer, and Markus Konkol. Reproducible Research and GIScience: An Evaluation Using GIScience Conference Papers. In 11th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2021) - Part II. Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 208, pp. 2:1-2:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


GIScience conference authors and researchers face the same computational reproducibility challenges as authors and researchers from other disciplines who use computers to analyse data. Here, to assess the reproducibility of GIScience research, we apply a rubric for assessing the reproducibility of 75 conference papers published at the GIScience conference series in the years 2012-2018. Since the rubric and process were previously applied to the publications of the AGILE conference series, this paper itself is an attempt to replicate that analysis, however going beyond the previous work by evaluating and discussing proposed measures to improve reproducibility in the specific context of the GIScience conference series. The results of the GIScience paper assessment are in line with previous findings: although descriptions of workflows and the inclusion of the data and software suffice to explain the presented work, in most published papers they do not allow a third party to reproduce the results and findings with a reasonable effort. We summarise and adapt previous recommendations for improving this situation and propose the GIScience community to start a broad discussion on the reusability, quality, and openness of its research. Further, we critically reflect on the process of assessing paper reproducibility, and provide suggestions for improving future assessments. The code and data for this article are published at

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Geographic information systems
  • reproducible research
  • open science
  • reproducibility
  • GIScience


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