Raniere Silva

cw186.pngBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer.

Two activities that form part of  all our Collaborations Workshop are the discussion session and collaborative ideas session. They may not be self-explanatory, but we assure you they are a great opportunity for attendees to interact and exchange ideas.

For Collaborations Workshop first-timers, including our fellows, the discussion session and collaborative ideas session may be completely new. So in this blog we will explain these two sessions and provide some tips on how to make the best of them.

Discussion session

Based on the information that attendees provide during registration, we create a list of topics that they might find interesting to discuss. For example, during CW17 we had "Best practices in Open Data and IoT data; tools & frameworks, analysis patterns and data management", "Improving diversity in research software projects and events", "How to give a kind and balanced software review" and many others. Topics can also be suggested by participants on the day—last year suggestions included "Research, Research IT, and IT: cultural bridging. Or, 'how to stop the IT department slowing down my science'".

At the very beginning of the discussion session, attendees vote for the topic they want to discuss and groups start to form. Once the groups are formed, we assign them…

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raniere.pngBy Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute.

In early 2017, NumFOCUS received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that helps fund a variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing Unconference during PyData New York City 2017. NumFOCUS is publishing notes about the Unconference at their blog.

This wasn't my first time attending a event label as a unconference, I attended Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, Mozilla Festival and, of course, Collaborations Workshop, and because of this I had my own fantasy of how the event would be: diverse and amazing group of attendees, infinite number of breakout rooms—you can fit as many breakout rooms as…

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CW18pic.pngBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer.

The mini-workshops & demos are key activities in all our Collaborations Workshops. Each session lasts 30 minutes, in which attendees share a particular software product, approach, standard, etc.

Some mini-workshops & demos are very hands-on and at the end of Collaborations Workshop learners are confident to use the software, approach or standard on their daily work. Others  present something earlier in the day, and the audience engages in a constructive discussion with the presenters which sometimes leads to some ideas for the hackday on the third day of the Collaborations Workshop.

Highlights from the Collaborations Workshop 2016 mini-workshops & demos were Robin Wilson's hands-on introduction to recipy, Oliver Laslett's hands-on validation of Jupyter notebooks with nbval and Clemence Tanzi's, from qLegal, discussion about public domain licensing and liability.

The highlights of 2017 edition were Neil Chue Hong's demonstration of the Software Assessment Framework, Edward Smith's hands-on session covering…

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26215728419_e6bd12a04a_z.jpgBy Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute, Yo Yehudi, InterMine, Cambridge University, David Pérez-Suárez, University College London.

The Mozilla Festival, or MozFest for short, is “an annual gathering of passionate thinkers and inventors from around the world who meet to learn from each other and help forge the future of the web" as described in the Mozilla Wiki. It started in 2010 in Barcelona but has been hosted in London since its second edition, in 2011. The event is a multi-massive-parallel session of debates and workshops. We attended the gathering to share ideas with Mozilla Open Leaders and other attendees interested in open science. Keep reading to find our top six highlights of MozFest 2017.

Open science public park

Some unconferences only have a open agenda, but others reinvent the whole space where it is happening. MozFest is in the second group, as you can see from the photo montage below. The photo in the right shows Naomi Penfold's activity, called…

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38449949554_d3c3ccd279_z.jpgBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer.

2018 started and my New Year resolutions are: using version control in all projects, commenting on my scripts, writing documentation for my packages, including tests for the code that I develop, taking advantage of continuous integration, providing virtual machine or containers for users, being more productive, and being more sustainable. Are any of those on your list too? If the answer is "yes", then our Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18) is a must go event for you this year. You can register now for CW18, which will take place on 26–28 March 2018 at Cardiff University.

Our Collaborations Workshop series is held in a unique ‘unconference’ style format that will definitely help you cross some of those New Year resolutions. The Hackday will be especially useful, as attendees form teams, get to know other, work for 24 hours in an idea using all sort of best practices and compete for generous prizes— in previous years we had Amazon Echo and Raspberry Pi 3 kits as prize.

The first two…

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The Software Sustainability Institute are pleased to announce figshare as Platinum Sponsor of the Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18).

figshare is a repository to share and get credit for all of your research outputs including papers, data, media and code. They were a launch partner with Mozilla and Github in the ‘code as a research object’ project which promotes researchers getting credit for their code. figshare has an integration with Github that allows you to snapshot, archive, get a citable DOI for your code and track the online attention through Altmetric. Recent analysis of the figshare corpus shows that code is 8 of the top 10 cited items. figshare also supports preview of IPython Notebook/Jupyter Notebooks in browser!

Attendees of CW18 will have the opportunity to interact with figshare experts and learn new ways to be more productive when getting credit for their work. Register today for the Collaborations Workshop 2018, which will take place from Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th March 2018 at The School of Mathematics, Cardiff University.

Assigning fellows applicationsBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer

A few people have asked us how we run certain processes at the Institute. This time, we will look at how we assigned Fellowship programme 2018 applications to our reviewers.

Data repository

We used Google Forms to collect applications as, from experience in previous editions, we know that Google Spreadsheet works well for reviewers as they are familiar with the platform and usually have a Google account. Google Drive then allows us to share the data the reviewers need and use "Microsoft Excel programming language" to summarise the result of the reviews.

On the master spreadsheet each reviewer has a sheet with their initials, where they will find all the information needed to assess the candidates, with relevant columns to mark their thoughts. Data validation helps reviewers input correct values.

Sheet generation

To generate each of the reviewers’ sheet we use pandas and PuLP, both Python libraries. Pandas allows us to interact with raw data stored in a tabular form as a Google Spreadsheet and to create local CSV files. PuLP is a linear optimisation

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Citation neededBy Stephan Druskat, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Radovan Bast, University of Tromsø, Neil Chue Hong, Software Sustainability Institute, University of Edinburgh, Alexander Konovalov, University of St Andrews, Andrew Rowley, University of Manchester, and Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute, University of Manchester

The citation of research software has a number of purposes, most importantly attribution and credit, but also the provision of impact metrics for funding proposals, job interviews, etc. Stringent software citation practices, as proposed by Katz et al. [1], therefore include the citation of a software version itself, rather than a paper about the software. Direct software citation also enables reproducibility of research results as the exact version can be retrieved from the citation. Unique digital object identifiers (DOIs) for software versions can already be reserved via providers such as Zenodo or figshare, but disseminating (and finding) citation information for software is still difficult…

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Fellows 2018

By Raniere Silva, Community Officer

We started recruiting for our Fellowship Programme 2018 in August 2017. 44 applications, 176 reviews and two online review meetings later, we are happy to announce our 17 new Software Sustainability Institute Fellows for 2018. With many amazing candidates, our new research software ambassadors represent some of the best people working in—and advocating for—better research software.

Compared to previous years, we noticed a drop by more than half of the number of applications, probably due the changes to this year’s application process, but every reviewer commented that the candidates were excellent and that this was the hardest year so far to select our fellows.

2018 Fellows come from eight fields in the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) code, including Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Social Studies and Business and Administrative Studies. Their work is supported from BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC.

We have representatives from 11 institutions in the UK, including the Cabinet Office for the first time. The University College London and the University of Sheffield are the institutions with more fellows this year (three fellows each). Our theory is that this is a…

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Kirstie WhitakerWe are very excited to announce that Kirstie Whitaker will be giving one of the keynote speeches for our Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18).

Kirstie Whitaker is a Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute in London, UK. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of British Columbia. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Brain Mapping Unit at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2017 and remains a senior research associate in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr Whitaker uses magnetic resonance imaging to study child and adolescent brain development and is a passionate advocate for reproducible neuroscience. She is a Fulbright scholarship alumna and 2016/17 Mozilla Fellow for Science. Kirstie was named, with her collaborator Petra Vertes, as a 2016 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine.

At CW18, Kirstie will talk about culture change based on her long journey as an open science advocate. You may have met her in the past at events like…

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