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Reproducibility was talked about by Robert Boyle in 17th century. Literate Programming was invented in 1984 by Donald Knuth. Reproducible Research tools like R markdown were invented recently. My query is : After the invention of Literate Programming, how did the trend of making reproducible reports start? How did tools from R Markdown evolve AFTER the invention of tools like WEB and noweb.

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[This answer was written for the original question, which has since been substantially edited.]

The question is backwards: if anything, it's literate programming which would have been inspired by reproducible research.

The concept of reproducibility is closely related to the criterion of falsifiability. This concept and its significance in science obviously predates literate programming (and anything related to computer science). More generally, the scientific method has been a pillar of scientific research for a long time. In particular the importance of reproducibility in research is definitely not limited to computer science.

It happens that literate programming can be useful to address the specific problems of reproducibility in modern computer science research, especially in experiments involving machine learning and massive amounts of data (related example). But as far as I know it was not designed in this specific goal, even if it shares some of the principles of the scientific method (transparency, interpretability).

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  • Perhaps I was not clear. Reproducibility was talked about by Robert Boyle in 17th century. Literate Programming was invented in 1984 by Donald Knuth. Reproducible Research tools like R markdown were invented recently. My query is : After the invention of Literate Programming, how did the trend of making reproducible reports start. ? – user2338823 Oct 24 '19 at 11:17
  • You seem to think of this as a discrete process made of inventions which change the way people work, but the reality is much smoother. People were writing papers describing reproducible research long before tools such as R markdown. It's true that these tools are useful in the perspective of reproducible experimental research, but github or before that CSV and SVN were useful tools too. The "trend" of making reproducible reports is just the continuation of this process. – Erwan Oct 24 '19 at 11:29
  • Is an R Markdown file an example of BOTH Literate Programming and Reproducible Reseach? [ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literate_programming says : Similar to Jupyter Notebooks, R Notebooks are a method of literate programming that allows for direct interaction with R (support for Python, SQL, and Bash are also explicitly named) while producing a reproducible document with publication-quality output. ] I think there is a difference between LP and RR. We may have one without the other. LP = document your code beautifully for a person to read while RR = share code and data. – user2338823 Oct 24 '19 at 11:44
  • @user2338823 of course there is a difference between LP and RR! you insist on putting these two concepts on the same level to compare them: it's true that they overlap, but they are very different concepts in scope and in depth. Sure some R markdown documents (not all) can be considered as examples of reproducible research, but so can thousands of papers published every year as well, and not only in CS. In CS many github repositories are examples of RR as well. You are essentially comparing what is mostly a technology (R markdown or Python Jupyter) against a scientific principle (RR). – Erwan Oct 24 '19 at 11:56
  • I was reading the history behind these 2 (LP and RR) recently. It's not documented as to whether R Markdown is implementing LP or RR. There are references to BOTH in R Markdown literature. It was not clear to me whether R Markdown is an implentation of LP or RR while reading the docs. Hence my query. Seems like R Markdown implements both LP and RR. – user2338823 Oct 24 '19 at 14:15

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