EGU23-15384, updated on 08 May 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A peer review process for higher reproducibility of publications in GIScience can also work for Earth System Sciences

Daniel Nüst1, Frank O. Ostermann2, and Carlos Granell3
Daniel Nüst et al.
  • 1Technische Universität Dresden, Chair of Geoinformatics, Geosciences, Dresden, Germany (
  • 2Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands (
  • 3Institute of New Imaging Technologies, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón, Castellón, Spain (

The Reproducible AGILE initiative ( successfully established a code execution procedure following the CODECHECK principles ( at the AGILE conference series ( The AGILE conference is a medium-sized community-led conference in the domains of Geographic Information Science (GIScience), geoinformatics, and related fields. The conference is organised under the umbrella of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE).

Starting with a series of workshops on reproducibility from 2017 to 2019, a group of Open Science enthusiasts with the support of the AGILE Council ( was able to introduce guidelines for sharing reproducible workflows ( and establish a reproducibility committee that conducts code executions for all accepted full papers.
In this presentation, we provide details of the taken steps and the encountered obstacles towards the current state. We revisit the process and abstract a series of actions that similar events or even journals may take to introduce a shift towards higher reproducibility of research publications in a specific community of practice.

We discuss the taken approach in the light of the challenges for reproducibility in Earth System Sciences (ESS) around four main ideas.
First, Reproducible AGILE’s human-centered process is able to handle the increasingly complex, large and varying data-based workflows in ESS because of the clear guidance on responsibilities (What should the author provide? How far does the reproducibility reviewer need to go?).
Second, the communicative focus of the process is very well suited to, over time, help to establish a shared practice based on current technical developments, such as FAIR Digital Objects, and to reform attitudes towards openness, transparency and sharing. A code execution following the CODECHECK principles is a learning experience that may sustainably change researcher behaviours and practice. At the same time, Reproducible AGILE’s approach avoids playing catch-up with technology and does not limit researcher freedom or includes a need to unitise researcher workflows beyond providing instructions suitable for a human evaluator, similar to academic peer review.
Third, while being agnostic of technology and infrastructures, a supportive framework of tools and infrastructure can of course increase the efficiency of conducting a code execution. We outline how existing infrastructures may serve this need and what is still missing.
Fourth, we list potential candidates of event series or journals that could introduce a code checking procedure because of their organisational setup or steps towards more open scholarhip that were already taken.

How to cite: Nüst, D., Ostermann, F. O., and Granell, C.: A peer review process for higher reproducibility of publications in GIScience can also work for Earth System Sciences, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15384,, 2023.