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Fellows newsletter: March 2021

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Fellows newsletter: March 2021

Rachael Ainsworth

Rachael Ainsworth

SSI fellow

Posted on 2 March 2021

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Fellows newsletter: March 2021

Posted by j.laird on 2 March 2021 - 2:00pm

Computer saying stay connectedPhoto by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona 

Welcome to this month's SSI Fellows Newsletter which shares activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. Read on for:

  • Fellows' Spotlight: Emily Bell, Anna Krystalli and David Pérez-Suárez 
  • February Community Call recap
  • Fellows' and related activities
  • Upcoming events and calls

Fellows’ Spotlight

Emily Bell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English, University of Leeds

Updates from call:
I’m interested in how to encourage software re-use in humanities scholarship, and want to explore this across digital humanities and within a specific sub-domain: digital editing and transcription of historical documents. I’m chairing a roundtable on 4 March, ‘Nineteenth-Century Archives and Handwriting in the Digital Age’, bringing together five digital projects; the discussion will include consideration of the different digital platforms used. Me and Dr Anna-Maria Sichani, another 2020 SSI Fellow, are planning a series of follow-up workshops to focus on ‘Assessing the Lifecycle of Digital Editing Projects’. To think about this issue more broadly, we’re hosting a roundtable as part of CW21: ‘(Do not) make it new: On Reusing Research Software and Tools in Digital Humanities Scholarship’. We’re inviting speakers who create humanities research software as well as representatives from major funders. We hope this initial conversation will provide further ideas to pursue in a follow-up workshop in autumn.

My recent non-work highlight: Reaching a 400-day streak on Duolingo in Japanese. It's a non-work hobby that's given me some daily structure during lockdown!

My recommendation for others: Ruth Ahnert, Sebastian E. Ahnert, Nicole Coleman, and Scott Weingart, The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities (Cambridge University Press, 2020): https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108866804

Anna Krystalli, Research Software Engineer, University of Sheffield

Updates from call:

In this call we explored how we adapted our ReproHack (one day reproducibility hackathon) events to an online format in response to the pandemic, including reaching out to contributors and participants from further afield, more talks, the importance of icebreakers, having flexible and varied online spaces and giving out Twitter e-stickers! 

My recent non-work highlight: In response to the announcement of the last UK lockdown, I escaped back home to Greece. It's been the longest I've spent with family and friends back home in the last 20+ years and has been a very special time indeed.

My recommendation for others: One of my favourite podcasts is 99% Invisible covering diverse, quirky but always interesting topics. My favourite episode is about the fight for the right to roam which eventually lead to the Peak District being established as the first National Park in the UK. 

David Pérez-Suárez, Senior Research Software Developer at University College London

Updates from call:

The Research Software Development Group hosted the first ReproHack at UCL as part of the Open Access Week events run this year by the Office for Open Science and Scholarship. This was not only the first event of this type at UCL, but the first time a Reprohack ran for a full week. The event started with a wonderful keynote by Daniela Ballari entitled “Why computational reproducibility is important?”. Then, the participants separated into groups and tried to reproduce a paper they selected. Each team decided how to collaborate during that week, the RSE team was available to help them if needed. At the end of the week, we convened together and shared our stories. Though we could only fully reproduce one out of the four papers attempted, the event was a success. You can hear more about the event on the next episode of the Code for thought podcast!

My recent non-work highlight: Finally, last week I've managed to visit Reina Mora's cave (Purple queen? Blackberry queen? Arabic queen?) which is - literally! - a few meters from my house and I only knew about it last year! The views from there are amazing!

I'm more than happy to show you this beauty if you ever come to this paradise. Oh, don't you know where this is? Gran Canaria!

My recommendation for others: Cat de Rham has been my online yoga teacher for almost a year! Her complete beginners, intermediate and advanced modules available on Youtube are amazing!

Community Call Recap

During the February SSI Fellows Community Call, we heard Fellows’ updates from Emily Bell, Anna Krystalli and David Pérez-Suárez. In breakout rooms, we discussed potential prompts around the themes of FAIR Research Software, Diversity & Inclusion, and Software Sustainability for the CW21 Discussion session. You can watch the recording here.

Fellows’ and related activities

  • Boost your research reproducibility with Binder Workshop - The workshop is run by SSI Fellow Sarah Gibson and The Turing Way Community, and will take place on Wednesday, 3 March 2021, 10:00-16:30 GMT. During this free workshop, we will discuss reproducible computing environments and why they're important, show examples of others’ projects in mybinder.org and help you learn how to prepare a binder-ready project. At the end of the workshop you will be able to take some of your own content (in a R or Jupyter Notebook, or scripts that can be run in the terminal) and prepare it so that it can be used by others on mybinder.org. Register here.
  • Winners of the call for developing training materials for data science announced - The winning proposals for the Institute’s call for developing training materials for data science have been chosen and include submissions from SSI Fellows Tom Pollard, Emma Rand and Andrew Stewart! You can read more here.
  • Remotely Green - Remotely Green are looking for beta testers to provide feedback on the latest version of the platform. You can create an event and test with colleagues / friends / family at https://app.remotely.green/ and email SSI Fellow Ben Krikler with any feedback.
  • Nineteenth-Century Archives and Handwriting in the Digital Age Roundtable - Join SSI Fellow Emily Bell on Zoom on Thursday, 4 March 2021, 18:00-19:30 GMT for a roundtable with five experts in nineteenth-century archives and handwriting from a range of leading projects: Addressing Health: Morbidity, Mortality and Occupational Health in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office, the Charles Dickens Letters Project, the George Eliot Archive, Melville Electronic Library, and One More Voice. We will hear from each participant about a problem they have come across and how they have solved it, from identifying forgeries to recovering understudied voices, before opening the discussion more broadly to working with archives and manuscripts both in person and online, and tips for deciphering handwriting. Read more and register here.
  • Community Building Study Group - The community building study group will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 16:00-17:00 UK time to discuss best practices and brainstorm solutions to different problems. You can find more information in this HackMD and you can join the #community-building channel in the all-fellows Slack workspace here. The next call will take place Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 16:00 GMT.
  • The Turing Way Book Dash - The Turing Way Book Dash events are a less intense version of Book Sprints, where participants collaboratively work on The Turing Way book synchronously to develop new chapters and review/edit existing ones to make them more accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date. They also contribute to enhancing the project by improving the ways we work in the community and take lead on accomplishing different tasks or sub-projects. Read the report from the last event and apply here before 15 April 2021!

Upcoming events and calls

  • Research Software Camp: Research Accessibility - This is a free online event encompassing live sessions, web resources (such as guides), and social media activities. The topic of the camp will focus on different aspects of research accessibility, ranging from making tools, techniques, datasets, software and protocols used in research, reproducible, open and sustainable, to exploring formats and tools to facilitate and improve accessibility for the disabled. The aim is to bring together people working with research and research software from any career stage and research area to explore and discuss the state of research culture and encourage better practices around research accessibility.
  • UK Carpentry Community Calls - These calls will provide a space for the UK Carpentry instructors and workshop coordinators to get to know each other and communicate about their workshops, plans and needs; to get their questions answered and get or provide help with technical and non-technical aspects of running and teaching workshops and finding instructors and helpers; to get advice on organisational membership and advocating for it at their institutions; and to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for the community to share their experience, explore topics of interest, find collaborators and network. The first call took place on 25 February 2021 - details can be found at the community page - after which we are hoping to settle on a regular schedule. For any questions, please get in touch with Aleksandra Nenadic
  • rOpenSci Community Call - The team at rOpenSci are in the process of expanding the scope of their software peer-review system to encompass explicitly statistical software. As part of this they have developed new tools to help prepare software for submission. One of these, the autotest package, implements and automates rigorous testing of all function inputs, while another, the srr package, enables documentation of, and reporting on, how and where code meets our sets of category-specific standards. Developers of packages to be submitted to this newly expanded system will be expected to apply both of these tools prior to submission. This one-hour event will provide an introduction to the project and feature developers who have helped to test and refine the tools, and will feature a live walk-through of the processes of applying these tools to a package.
  • Open Research Data 101: Research Tools and Real-Time Applications - Are you a researcher interested in learning more about open data and how you can make your research more open? Join the Frictionless Data Fellows for a virtual Open Data Day event celebrating open research data! This event will feature a talk, panel, and hands-on workshop all about open data in research. You’ll learn about open science, how to use open source tools with your research data, and how to balance ethics with open research data. 

The monthly SSI Fellows Newsletter aims to share activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. The newsletter will share a summary of the latest community call, as well as contributions and calls for collaboration from the SSI Fellows. We are looking for newsletter items related to events, webinars, workshops, resources, job and funding opportunities that SSI Fellows are involved in or looking for support with (submit via this Google Form). If you have any questions, please contact Community Manager Rachael Ainsworth at r.ainsworth@software.ac.uk

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