First living scientific figure: articles can now keep pace with scientific discovery | Discussions – F1000 Research
" ... Now in 2015 we can present the first example of an auto-updating ‘living’ figure in a published, peer reviewed original research article. After reading Jure’s post, behavioural neuroscientist Björn Brembs at the Universität Regensberg approached us at F1000Research to help create a dynamic figure that could visualize the variations in locomotor behaviour of Drosophila Canton S strains sourced from different labs. Canton S is the most frequently used wild type control strain in Drosophila experiments, and there is an unspoken assumption that these flies are effectively identical between labs. Björn, together with his collaborator Julien Colomb at the Freie Universität and the F1000Research development team (special nod to our whizz kid developer Ravi Kumarasighe), set about coding a living figure in R that could effectively illustrate this data whilst adhering to good scientific publishing practices. The first version of their article included a static Figure 4 and a call for other researchers to contribute their findings by uploading their data to the truly living figure in Version 2 of their article (see our previous blog post and interview with the authors). Version 2 has now been published, and today the first data from another group, Gregg Roman at the University of Houston, has been added to the now fully functional Figure 4. When a researcher submits their raw data to this figure, a principal component analysis is automatically run on all the strains and the results are plotted onto the three graphs; the closer the plots, the more similar the strains. The figure has full version control so users can see how the figure has progressed over time, every contributor is credited in the legend and each dataset is independently downloadable, citable and has its own DOI. As of writing, seven sub-strains have been added to the figure with the eighth expected within the next few weeks (keep a lookout for future data being added). The most recent data from Dr Roman’s team do not appear to group with any of the previously added strains, providing further evidence that these hypothetically identical control flies can actually be quite different ..."