Raniere Silva

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 days…

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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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CardiffBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer, Software Sustainability Institute.

The Collaborations Workshop (CW) is the Institute’s premier event series. It brings together key members of the research software community including researchers, developers, managers, legal staff, administrators, publishers, funders and more who work together to explore best practices and the future of research software. The Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18—#CollabW18) will take place in the City of Cardiff at The School of Mathematics, Cardiff University on 26th–28th March 2018.

Register on the CW18 Eventbrite page

CW18 will focus on culture change, productivity and sustainability. Advocates of better research software or open science often cite productivity and sustainability as some of the reasons for changing research practices. But…

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fellows selection dayBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer, Software Sustainability Institute.

On 8th November we held the selection day for the shortlisted candidates to the Fellowship programme 2018. We ran the selection day online for the first time, and it went well for the 23 candidates who attended the event. The day was filled with interesting discussions and we hope to share some of these soon in the form of speed blogs.

Introductions

In previous years each candidate has presented an introduction to their professional persona, what they do and what they would do as a Fellow. This year we shared each candidate's application video in advance with the other attendees of the selection day. In the first session of the day we invited candidates to bring a conversation subject to the group. In this one hour "ice breaking" discussion, candidates talked about training and inclusivity.

Discussion session

As in previous years, discussion sessions during the selection day gave us an insight into the group and interaction skills of candidates. Each candidate participated in two groups, ideally on different subjects with different reviewers observing. Each discussion group chose a chair to keep discussions on track, a scribe to write things down and a…

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The Software Sustainability Institute are very pleased to announce Overleaf as Platinum Sponsor of the Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18). They are very kindly offering 1 year Overleaf Pro+Teach accounts to every attendee! Register today! Collaboration Workshop 18 will take place from Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th March 2018 at The School of Mathematics, Cardiff University.

Founded in 2012 and with over 750,000 registered users, Overleaf is an academic authorship tool that allows seamless collaboration and effortless manuscript submission, all underpinned by cloud-technology. By providing an intuitive online collaborative writing and publishing platform, Overleaf is making the process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents quicker and easier. Researchers and academics can now write, collaborate, and publish with a single click, directly from the Overleaf web-app. Publishers and Institutions are partnering with Overleaf to provide customized writing templates, simple reference tool linking, and one-click publishing submission links. Supported by Digital Science, Overleaf aims to make science and research faster, more open and more transparent by bringing the whole scientific writing process into one place in the cloud - from idea, to writing, to review, to publication.

Attendees of CW18 will also have the opportunity to interact…

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