Collaborations Workshop 2021 (CW21) brought together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, policy makers, leaders and educators to explore FAIR Research Software, Diversity and Inclusion, and Software Sustainability.
CW21 took place virtually for the second time from 30 March - 1 April due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CW21 was generously sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, Figshare, F1000 Research and eLife, whose support allowed us to improve the infrastructure, accessibility and social aspects of the unconference compared to the previous year. Here we will share some highlights from the three-day virtual event.
On the evening before the official event started, RemotelyGreen kindly sponsored a social hour (facilitated by SSI Fellow Ben Krikler) where participants were matched in groups based on selected topics of interest, and provided an icebreaker prompt question to help guide the interaction. At the end of Day One, SSI Fellow Robin Wilson facilitated a quiz in GatherTown where participants tested their general knowledge in various categories, including software and academia-related rounds. Finally, to close out the event, SSI Fellow Colin Sauze facilitated a virtual meetup in Mozilla Hubs, where participants took a virtual train ride to a venue where we celebrated all that we achieved during the workshop and Hack Day.
Well that was a fun social mixer using @RemotelyGreen to randomly match you with other #SSI#CollabW21 attendees for quick chats. Talked to lots of new people tonight, probably more than if the workshop was in person. Favourite topic was deffo #SoftwareHorrorStories .
On Day One Michelle Barker, Director of the Research Software Alliance, gave a keynote on FAIR Research Software to inform the discussions that would take place during the event around this topic. She described the ongoing work of the FAIR For Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG) to apply the FAIR Guiding Principles - Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability - to research software in a practical and useful way, the roadmap for the future of the initiative, and how participants could get involved.
Chonnettia Jones, Vice President, Research at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, then delivered the keynote on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). She shared why we should be working toward an inclusive research culture, why EDI initiatives fail, and what we can learn from them to do better. She highlighted that we all need to be vigilant “about the ways that we treat others that are different to us.”
I am going to tweet @chonnettia's Keynote - research Culture: Why EDI initiatives fail.
Chonnettia is the vice president of research at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
Lovely to see a shout out to @TheCSCCE Community Participation Model in @mattasdata Lightning Talk & @msandstr talking about the invisible glue of community managers in research infrastructure as well ✨ #collabw21
Participants then divided into discussion groups to explore and speed-blog on topics such as: the advantages of applying FAIR for research software, costing research software development and maintenance, and what does activism and advocacy mean for research software? Keep an eye on the SSI blog, as we will be sharing what participants wrote over the coming weeks.
Day Two began with a panel discussion around disability and accessibility in research software by Becca Wilson (University of Liverpool and SSI Fellow), Phoenix C S Andrews (University of Sheffield and Freelance), Ella Gale (University of Bristol), Robert Stevens (University of Manchester), and Robin Wilson (Freelance and SSI Fellow). The panellists discussed what changes would be revolutionary in addressing ableism in the sector, how COVID-19 has changed disability inclusion, and what participants could do to build a more disability inclusive research culture.
"Don't assume your understanding of someone's disability is correct" - Prof Robert Stevens. Great panel discussion at #CollabW21, focusing on disability in research software. Thank you @DrBeccaWilson, @pennyb, @ellagale, @sciremotesense for being open on this important subject.
Participants were then randomly assigned groups for the Collaborative Ideas session, where they went into breakout rooms and worked to come up with solutions to problems they experience in research. We then put all the ideas generated to a vote, and Eli Chadwick, Iain Barrass, Alice Minotto and Yo Yehudi won for their idea “Acknowledging maintenance and software retirement: Software End of Project Plans” - a project to assure software sustainability when that software comes from a short fixed-term project.
CW21 concluded with the Hack Day, where nine teams formed to work on projects generated during the Collaborative Ideas session and other ideas pitched during the course of the event. The winners of the Hack Day were Jannetta Steyn, Alison Clarke, Emily Lewis, Sam Haynes, Flic Anderson and Abhishek Dasgupta for their project “CarpenPi” - a project to run Carpentries training on Raspberry Pis.
Recordings of the keynotes, lightning talks, mini-workshops and Hack Day project demos will be made available on the SSI Youtube channel in the coming weeks, and all CW21 outputs (including blog posts and other resources) will be tagged on the SSI website with Collaborations Workshop 2021.
What are your highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2021? We would love to hear about your experience of the event, so feel free to get in touch with Rachael Ainsworth, SSI Community Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to write a blog post about CW21 for the SSI blog. You can already find a selection of blog posts written by others below: