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Collaborations Workshop 2020 (CW20)

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Collaborations Workshop 2020 (CW20)

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Location:  Online

31 March 2020

Collaborations Workshop 2020 (CW20)

The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaborations Workshop 2020 (CW20) took place online from Tuesday, 31st March to Thursday, 2nd April 2020. For their support, we would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors. For more information, please see the complete list of our sponsors.

Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Because of the rapidly changing situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to change the way we are running CW20. The in-person event that was due to take place in Belfast from 31 March - 2 April 2020 is cancelled, and we will be running an online virtual event in its place. We hope to return to Belfast for CW21.

We ask that you please bear with us in the lead up to CW20 while we update this website and modify the format of the workshop to make the experience as useful and enjoyable to our participants as possible. We will keep you informed of all updates and connection details, as we explore this unexpected opportunity to trial new online collaboration techniques!

You can read about our general advice to participants on registration and reclaiming costs here.


CW20 will now take place online using Zoom. You will need to install their client, which is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and make sure that it is updated to the latest version. Once you’ve installed the Zoom client, you can test your microphone and camera interface with Zoom here. We recommend joining the conference with a good quality headset with microphone.

Specific instructions and links on how to connect to CW20 will be sent to registrants via email through Eventbrite.


Registration has now closed.


CW20 brought together a diverse group of people, creating a dynamic space for various activities. Here are some highlights from the event:

For a comprehensive overview, explore the complete agenda.

CW20 Themes

Why Open Research

Open Research encourages collaboration over more traditional, closed practices by making research more transparent and outputs from every stage of the research workflow - including data, software and publications - freely available and accessible to all. This not only makes research more efficient by ensuring results are easy to reproduce and build upon, but also allows other researchers, under-resourced communities/institutions and the public to learn from and contribute to the body of knowledge. Furthermore, funding agencies (such as UKRI) are increasingly mandating policies relating to Open Science - including practices such as Open Access to scholarly publications, creating and implementing data management plans, depositing of research data into open repositories, and documenting and open sourcing code - as they recognise the economic and societal impact. However, working in this way requires structural changes in how research and researchers are assessed.

Why Data Privacy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) regulate how personal data and privacy should be managed, and applies to any research project which processes personal information. Personal data is any information relating to living persons who can be identified directly from the information in question, or when combined with other information. Conducting research in an ethical, fair and lawful manner must start prior to project approval by incorporating data protection and privacy into the research planning process (i.e. ethical approval). That is, it must be considered with regard to collecting, transferring, processing, anonymising, sharing, storing, archiving, deleting and the security of research data. There are many sources of guidance for complying with GDPR and the DPA, including the Data protection and research data guide by Jisc, but different ethical standards may apply to different institutions and disciplines.

Why Software Sustainability

Software is fundamental to research: 7 out of 10 researchers report their work would be impossible without it. From short, thrown-together temporary scripts to solve a specific problem, through an abundance of complex spreadsheets analysing collected data, to the hundreds of software engineers and millions of lines of code behind international efforts such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Square Kilometre Array, there are few areas of research where software does not have a fundamental role. As more research is based on results that are generated by software, there must be an increased focus on developing software that is reliable and which can be easily proven to produce reproducible results. Sustainability means that the software you use today will be available - and continue to be improved and supported - in the future. Career paths (such as the professionalisation of Research Software Engineering), credit for software, reproducible research, capacity and capability improvements all fall within the scope of software sustainability.

More about Collaborations Workshop 2020

The Software Sustainability Institute invites all members of the research software community to explore and discuss the themes described above and other related issues at CW20.

CW20 attendees will gain insight into the topics of Open Research, Data Privacy and Software Sustainability and how these impact and will impact on research. It is also an ideal opportunity to form collaborations (on average, attendees of CW start two new collaborations by attending) and to discuss topics proposed by attendees. CW20 is a great place to network and participants will meet many of the new and existing Software Sustainability Institute Fellows – key ambassadors in varied research domains.

Take a look at the Highlights from Collaborations Workshop 2019 and the videos on better and sustainable research software to better understand what happens at a Collaborations Workshop. Also please read the various blog posts from previous Collaborations Workshops to better understand why you should attend and what you will gain.


The Collaborations Workshop is organised by the Software Sustainability Institute's CW18 organisation and events teams with the help of the steering committee and generous support from our partner organisations and sponsors. 

Code of Conduct

By registering for CW20, you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read it ahead of the event.

Privacy Policy

We manage your personal information according to our events privacy policy.

Additional information

Previous events in the series


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