image1_0.jpgBy Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute

We know that seven out of ten UK researchers reported that their work would be impossible without software, but, sometimes when attending domain specific conferences, we still get surprised at the importance of software in research. On June 2018, I attended Measuring Behavior 2018 by invitation of our fellow Robyn Grant.

Measuring Behavior 2018 was a three-day conference hosted at the Manchester Metropolitan University and covered analysis methods for behavioral data, techniques for human factors studies, mazes and behavioral tests, sensors for measuring behavior, extracting behavior from audio-video streams and a few other related topics.

We could tell that behavioral researchers are relying more on software every year because the atrium had a dozen of stalls from companies, such as Noldus, and organisations, such as the National Centre of the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), offering software and hardware solutions to assist behavioral researchers when, for example, monitoring animals in a maze or tracking the eyes of certain subjects.


Many talks presented during the conference…

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27876201371_5844cba8b8_z.jpgBy Reka Solymosi, University of Manchester

After our Brexit Data Challenge Hackathon our paper got shortlisted to be presented at the 2018 GISRUK conference. While I was unable to attend, two members of the hackathon team, Heather Robinson and Sam Langton went to represent our group. This is a guest blog of sorts by them on their experience on presenting our paper and the event in general.

Heather Robinson

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the 2018 GISRUK conference at The University of Leicester. I was representing R Users at University of Manchester (RUM), an informal R user group which I co-organise. We had decided to…

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Software Sustainability Institute Fellow Tania Allard will be giving a talk about practical steps for reproducible data analysis pipelines (Title: "A crazy little thing called reproducible science") at RAPIDS conference on the 19th of July 2018 in London, UK.

This conference is organised by dotmesh in conjunction with King's College London, The Farr Institute of Health Informatics, and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at South London and is focused on reproducibility and provenance in data science.

The morning session will include talks about reproducibility and best practices in computational research. This will be followed by a series of hands-on sessions on tools such as Docker, Git and dotscience (please, bring your own laptop for this).

The event is free of charge and more information can be found at RAPIDS 2018.

The Oxford e-Research Centre is organising the Digital Practices in the Humanities Workshop (DPHW) on 21st June 2018 from 10am–5pm. The workshop will look into digital toolmaking and its use in the humanities. 

The event is free though registration is required. Read the agenda.

For further information, please visit Digital Practices in the Humanities Wokshop (DPHW).


By Alexander Morley, DPhil in Neuroscience, University of Oxford, and Yo Yehudi, InterMine, University of Cambridge.

For the last five years, Mozilla has run a Global Sprint, a worldwide distributed event where people gather to work collaboratively on open projects. The sprint is fantastic opportunity for open activists to help others, with demo calls that allow people to share their own projects, glean new contributors and amplify awareness of the issues they’re trying to address.

While you can participate from anywhere around the globe, there are also hosted sites where people can come together in person. 2018 fellows Alex Morley and Yo Yehudi both brought projects to this year's sprint, attending a physical site hosted in the Mozilla London offices on the 10th & 11th May 2018.

Code of Conduct Builder, Alex’s project, is a project that aims to help people build effective codes of conduct for their…

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28038447138_47c0a422f8_z.jpgBy Scott Henwood, Director of Research Software at CANARIE.

This post was first published in the CANARIE blog.

My previous blog posts have focused on the research software landscape in Canada, but the challenges and opportunities we face are not different from those in other parts of the world. In this post, I provide a brief overview of three international organisations that CANARIE works with as part of our Research Software program. These organisations are very different in their structure and approach to excellence in research software, but as you’ll see, they are all trying to solve common problems.

The UK Software Sustainability Institute (SSI)

Recognising that seven out of ten UK researchers say that their research would be impossible without software, the UK’s SSI was formed in 2010 to provide a national facility to enable the development and sustainability of better research software. The SSI has become an international leader in software for research and, along with their work on software sustainability (long-term availability, improvement and support), they also support initiatives in the following areas:

  • Skills and Training…
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Amsterdam.jpgBy Martin Donnelly, University of Edinburgh.

Late last month, I took a day trip to the Netherlands to attend an event at TU Delft entitled “Towards cultural change in data management – data stewardship in practice”. My Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship application “pitch” last year had been based around building bridges and sharing strategies and lessons between advocacy approaches for data and software management, and encouraging more holistic approaches to managing (and simply thinking about) research outputs in general. When I signed up for the event I expected it to focus exclusively on research data, but upon arrival at the venue (after a distressingly early start, and a power-walk from the train station along the canal) I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the post-lunch breakout sessions was on the topic of software reproducibility, so I quickly signed up for that one.

I made it in to the main auditorium just in time to hear TU Delft’s Head of Research Data Services, Alastair Dunning, welcome us to the event. Alastair is a well-known face in the UK, hailing originally from Scotland and having worked at Jisc prior to his move across the North Sea. He noted the difference between managed and Open research data, a distinction that translates to research software too, and noted the risk of geographic imbalance between countries which are able to leverage openness to their advantage while simultaneously coping…

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The Software Sustainability Institute website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Thursday 7th June 2018 from 12:00 to 12:45.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Registration for RSE 2018 in Birmingham in September is now open  

The last two conferences sold out, so the organising committee added 50% more tickets this year. However, tickets go fast, so please sign up early. 

The programme of talks, workshops and keynotes have been planned around the following themes:

* Good practice for software development

* Researcher-developer partnerships

* Community and careers

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On the 11th of July, The Software Sustainability Institute and Jisc will be running a Software Deposit and Preservation Workshop in Oxford. At this workshop, we will bring together research data managers, digital repository vendors, publishers, policymakers and researchers. We will present guidance on software deposit and preservation, discuss software deposit and preservation from the perspectives of the foregoing stakeholders, and identify ways in which to drive forward the adoption of best practices in software deposit and preservation.

This workshop is a follow-up to the Software Deposit and Preservation Policy and Planning Workshop ran back in March, for which a workshop report is now available.

Both workshops are part of an activity, funded by Jisc, to develop software deposit and preservation guidance for Jisc’s Research Data Shared Service (RDSS).

If you'd like to attend this workshop, please register via Eventbrite.

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