Open Practices Supplemental Material FAQ

The VIS community needs to take additional steps to help ensure that research presented at VIS is (1) reproducible, (2) replicable, and (3) extensible by future researchers. As such, the Open Practices Committee for IEEE VIS 2022 has provided several recommendations for supplemental materials that should be included with each paper and where to upload them.

Note: these are recommendations only, not requirements. Following ANY of them, even if you do not follow them all, can improve the long-term value of your research to the community and the health of our field.

This page provides additional details and background for each of those recommendations. In particular, it answers the following questions:

Where should I upload supplemental material?

There are many possible locations where supplemental material could live: IEEE Xplore, IEEE Dataport, OSF, Databrary, GitHub, GitLab, Databrary, Dataverse, institutional repositories, authors’ homepages…

The ideal repository for your supplemental materials is:

  1. Accessible—The data is freely accessible without any cost or sign-up requirement to enable future researchers from all backgrounds to build on the work.

  2. Identifiable—The repository provides a persistent identifier to avoid link rot and enable citation tracking.

  3. Updatable—The repository allows for post-submission updates to correct errors and address omissions.

  4. Immutable—The repository offers immutable versioning to support preregistrations.

  5. Reliable—The repository enables permanent advancement of knowledge and understanding by providing the supplemental material in perpetuity. E.g., it has a long-term sustainability plan (e.g. OSF’s) and is otherwise resilient to financial or corporate pressures.

Based on these criteria, and for the sake of simplicity and consistency across VIS submissions, we recommend that supplemental material be submitted to IEEE and/or to Naturally, mirrors on both are even better for the community!

What supplemental material should I share?

We recommend that you share all supplemental materials required to reproduce the results in the paper. For example:

  • Datasets used for usage scenarios, case studies, demonstrations, and benchmarks.
  • The code to load and visualize or otherwise use that data.
  • The code for any presented technique, device, or system, if an implementation exists.
  • Building files or 3D models of any physical artifacts.
  • All stimuli used in user studies or representative examples of them.
  • Code for executing an experiment, benchmark, or user study.
  • Codebooks used for analyzing the activities of human subjects.
  • The resulting raw data from experiments, benchmarks, or user studies. Include de-identified transcripts, if ethical and feasible.
  • Code for analyzing the raw experimental data.
  • Any analysis results.
  • Figure-generation code for any data figures. We also suggest including source files for any manual touch-ups (e.g. Inkscape, Illustrator, Gimp, Photoshop).

What documentation should I include?

We recommend that authors include enough detail in their documentation so that their work can be easily used or extended by future researchers and practitioners. For example,

  • A file at the root folder of your supplemental material can explain the file and folder organization.
  • Include sufficient detail for others to understand how the materials relate to what is presented in the paper.
  • Include data dictionaries, codebooks, or metadata describing each dataset, how it was produced, and how to interpret it.
  • Source code should be supplemented by a file that explains how to set up and run the code, including instructions for creating runtime or virtual environments.

Should I specify a license for supplemental materials?

Yes! Including a clear license lets future researchers and practitioners know what they are allowed to do with your materials and whether they will be opening themselves to liability by using it.

What license should I choose?

We strongly recommend that authors release their supplemental materials under a license that permits re-use by future researchers and practitioners. In particular:

Copyleft licenses like GPL can help encourage future users to release their improvements and changes back to the community. But they may limit the adoption of your work by commercial entities.

What if I have questions, comments, concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns related to this page or open practices, please contact the Open Practice chairs: