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Highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2020

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Highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2020

Rachael Ainsworth

Rachael Ainsworth

SSI fellow

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Highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2020

Posted by g.law on 21 April 2020 - 8:51am 

online group photoBy Rachael Ainsworth, Software Sustainability Institute

Collaborations Workshop 2020 (CW20) was dedicated to discussing Open Research, Data Privacy and Software Sustainability, and took place virtually from 31 March - 2 April 2020. Originally scheduled to take place at Queen’s University Belfast, it was reorganised within three weeks to take place online due to the situation surrounding COVID-19. CW20 was sponsored by Microsoft, F1000 Research, Figshare, eLife and Overleaf, who very kindly stuck with us when we moved the event online. We plan to publish a longer post about how we moved the event online and lessons learned, but here we will share some highlights from the three day virtual event.


t-7 until @SoftwareSaved's #CollabW20 online edition. I'd still love to be in that neat little town they call Belfast, but honestly, here or there, the workshop will always be the top event of the year. At least this year the kids and cats can join in as well. Excited!

— Stephan Druskat (@stdruskat) March 31, 2020

CW20 kicked off with some initial guidance on how the day would run and an icebreaker where small groups shared with each other what they were watching, reading or listening to. Then Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) Director Neil Chue Hong introduced the Institute and reminded everyone that things aren’t normal due to COVID-19. He therefore asked participants to be kind to themselves and others, to take breaks as needed, and to follow the virtual Pac-Man rule: leave pauses and invite others to join the conversation. 

Shout out to @npch while introducing @SoftwareSaved at #CollabW20 (now virtual, of course) - things aren't normal right now - make sure to be gentle to yourself! ? pic.twitter.com/ZCvxWGcm0f

— yo yehudi stays away from humans! ? (@yoyehudi) March 31, 2020

Andrew Stewart, Senior Lecturer in the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology at the University of Manchester, gave the opening keynote on Open Research. He described famous cases demonstrating the replication crisis, the problem of P-hacking, HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known), and institutional efforts to promote open research practices.

.@ajstewart_lang's slide mentioning that we need to invest in software to be better prepare for the next COVID-19. And he wasn't talking about video conference. But models to predict the spread of the pandemic. #CollabW20 pic.twitter.com/Go01zsyJxg

— Raniere Silva (@rgaiacs) March 31, 2020

We then heard a series of lightning talks, where sponsors and participants shared various projects and initiatives including the FAIRsFAIR project, the eLife Innovation Sprint 2020 (general applications open between 27 April and 24 May, 2020), and Sarah Gibson’s Cross Stitch Carpentry lesson! She also hosted a Twitter contest for CW20 participants to share a picture of their mindfulness routine with the hashtag #CollabW20mindfulness to win a cross stitch kit.

✨✨✨WINNER! ✨✨✨@jo_leng is the winner of the remaining @turingway @mybinderteam #CrossStitch kit from #CollabW20!!

Thank you to everyone who entered, it was great to see you're #SelfCare

Thank you to @SoftwareSaved @rachaelevelyn for a fab workshop! https://t.co/ONlaol0mGh

— Sarah Gibson (@drsarahlgibson) April 1, 2020

Becca Wilson, UKRI Innovation Fellow with HDR UK at Newcastle University, delivered the keynote on Data Privacy. She presented an overview of GDPR and described the various techniques for data privacy in health research, including anonymised data, pseudonymisation, data safe havens and secure data facilities. She concluded by discussing privacy-by-design analysis and DataSHIELD - an open source software and infrastructure for distributed, remote analysis automated disclosure control.

Great quote from @DrBeccaWilson's #CollabW20 keynote on data privacy & GDPR: "Data can either be useful, or perfectly anonymous, but never both." -- Paul Ohm, 2009.

— Daniel Hobley (@Siccar_Point) March 31, 2020

Participants then divided into discussion groups to explore and speed-blog on topics such as: the sustainability of legacy software, encouraging people to follow best practice as part of their workflow instead of after the fact, and the use and creation of synthetic data. Keep an eye on the SSI blog, as we will be sharing what participants wrote over the coming weeks.

our group produced something fairly coherent in just 20 minutes. If I write a blog, it usually takes ages, I need speed blogging sessions and people holding me accountable all the time ? #CollabW20

— Patricia Herterich (@PHerterich) March 31, 2020

Day 2 began with a talk from Malvika Sharan, The Alan Turing Institute, on The Turing Way: A community built on a culture of collaboration. Malvika stressed the importance of open research communities being inclusive by design - not an afterthought - and how The Turing Way project achieves this.

Design inclusivity and welcome paths into your communities - don't let them happen by accident. The @turingway project is lead by @kirstie_j to make Data Science accessible and easy for everyone. Originally a book on reproducibility, it now has >80 contributors! #CollabW20 pic.twitter.com/pOPTdVHUfw

— yo yehudi stays away from humans! ? (@yoyehudi) April 1, 2020

Participants were 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 Emma Rand, Matthew West, Laurence Brown, Mario Antonioletti and Alison Clarke won for their Storyboarding Sustainability idea - to produce a storyboard for a 10 minute video which can be sent to PIs to raise awareness and outline steps to achieve sustainability and reproducibility in their research projects.

Huge thanks to @SoftwareSaved, @rachaelevelyn et al. for the wonderful #CollabW20! Grateful that it moved online so I was able to join in from Germany. I met awesome people and discussed/worked on great projects. Now I'm full of ideas to take - uh, keep here at - home with me

— Esther Asef (@estherasef) April 1, 2020

There were a total of 16 mini-workshop and demo sessions at CW20 on scholarly communication and community in addition to the event themes of open research, data privacy and software sustainability.

Gave my first ever "live virtual conference" presentation along with @vgarousi for #CollabW20 - went very well, thanks for having us :)

— David Cutting (@davex0x29a) April 1, 2020

CW20 concluded with the Hack Day, where 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 Yo Yehudi, Blair Archibald, David Perez-Suarez, Alison Clarke and Marion Weinzierl for their project RSE2-D2 - a twitter bot providing advice about creating/maintaining research software!

And here are the #collabw20 #hackday results:
? for RSE2-D2 (currently tweeting under @yoyehudi )
? to the amazing @turingway
for their online conference activity templates and
? to @npch @matkuzak @jezcope @emmy_ft @BenKrikler Bezaye and myself for our hybrid event resources

— Patricia Herterich (@PHerterich) April 2, 2020

97% of participants who provided feedback said that the workshop was useful and enjoyable. One participant wrote: “I was much more personally engaged and active in CW20 than any of the other online events I attended. It makes me feel like I contributed rather than just passively consuming information.”

This is being an amazing #CollabW20 - though this year everyone is attending from their ? there's not much I miss from the physical meetings (maybe the lunches/dinners/drinks/...)

— DVD (@DVDGC13) April 1, 2020

What are your highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2020? 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 r.ainsworth@software.ac.uk if you would like to write a blog post about CW20 for the SSI blog. Recordings of the keynotes, lightning talks and mini-workshops will be made available on the SSI Youtube channel in the coming weeks, and all CW20 outputs (including blog posts and other resources) will be tagged on the SSI website with Collaborations Workshop 2020.



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