First Workshop on Maintainable Software Practices in e-Science

First Workshop on Maintainable Software Practices in e-Science (SoftwarePractice12)

9 October 2012

Co-located with
8th IEEE International Conference on eScience, Chicago, USA
October 8-12, 2012

The 1st Workshop on Maintainable Software Practices in e-Science, co-located with the 8th IEEE International Conference on eScience, provides a dedicated forum for the research community to discuss new research, experiences and best practice in developing and maintaining software within an e-Science context.

One of the most pressing issues for computational science is the creation of software and data that is sustainable and reusable. Today’s researchers are using more and more complex software stacks that is produced in increasingly ad hoc ways [Mer10]. Software development has become more and more common (current estimates state that 45% of scientists spend more time developing software now than they did 5 years ago [Han09]), particularly within e-Science projects which often have a mix of research and software development roles. At the same time, stakeholders are asking researchers to consider their software sustainability as part of their data management plans, with “Software as Infrastructure” being adopted as a model [EPSRC11, NSF11]. The management, curation and development of scientific software – which has often started life as a rough prototype – is a key area to support to enable high quality research.

This workshop will focus on the issues relating to the development and maintenance of software that can endure past the limited periods of defined project durations and project funding, and go beyond software engineering best practice to address aspects of cultural, organisational and policy change. By bringing together all those with an interest in ensuring the longer term development and use of software for research, including researchers, developers, research computing specialists, software engineers, infrastructure providers, facilitators, and funders, the goal of this workshop is to understand what software practices can be successfully applied and which lead to long-term improvements in the development of software for e-Science.

As part of the workshop we will also be running a panel on the topic of culture change in software management for research, featuring invited speakers from a variety of disciplines who have experienced or instigated these changes, to talk about their real life experiences of scientists of what worked and didn’t work for them.

Workshop Programme

Position papers are available to download from this site. Full papers will be available in the proceedings of the e-Science conference.

  Title Authors (presenter in bold) Materials
Session 1 - Introduction / Communities and Practices: Part 1 - Chair: Neil Chue Hong
09:00 - 09:30 Introduction to the Workshop Neil Chue Hong, Jennifer Schopf [presentation]
09:30 - 10:00 Sustainable Software for Computational Chemistry and Materials Modeling Daniel Crawford, Robert Harrison, Anna Krylov, Theresa Windus, Emily Carter, Edmund Chow, Erik Deumens, Mark Gordon, Martin Head-Gordon, Todd Martinez, David McDowell, Vijay Pande, Manish Parashar, Ram Ramanujam, Beverly Sanders, Bernhard Schlegel, David Sherrill, Lyudmila Slipchenko, Masha Sosonkina, Edward Valeev and Ross Walker [presentation][position paper]
10:00 - 10:30 Break
Session 2 - Communities and Practices: Part 2 - Chair: Michael McLennan
10:30 - 11:00 Adoption of Software by a User Community: The Montage Image Mosaic Engine Example G. Bruce Berriman, Ewa Deelman, Gideon Juve and Mats Rynge [presentation][position paper]
11:00 - 11:30 On Realizing the Concept Study ScienceSoft of the European Middleware Initiative - OpenSoftware for Open Science Alberto Di Meglio, Morris Riedel and Florida Estrella [presentation][abstract]
11:30 - 12:00 The Relationship Between Development Problems and Use of Software Engineering Practices in Computational Science Dustin Heaton, Jeffrey Carver, Roscoe Bartlett, Kimberly Oakes and Lorin Hochstein [presentation][position paper]
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch
Session 3 - Models and Methods - Jill Gemmill
13:30 - 14:00 libHPC: Software sustainability and reuse through metadata preservation Jeremy Cohen, John Darlington, Brian Fuchs, David Moxey, Chris Cantwell, Pavel Burovskiy, Spencer Sherwin and Neil Chue Hong [presentation][position paper]
14:00 - 14:30 Overview of the TriBITS Lifecycle Model Roscoe Bartlett, Micheal Heroux and James Willenbring [presentation][abstract]
14:30 - 15:00 IPOL: Reviewed Publication and Public Testing of Research Software Nicolas Limare, Laurent Oudre and Pascal Getreuer [abstract]
15:00 - 15:30 Break
Session 4 - Culture Change
15:30 - 17:00 Culture Change debate - "What can we do to change the status quo? Should we do this?" Theme leads: Beverly Sanders, Bruce Berriman, Neil Chue Hong [Skills breakout][Funding breakout][Impact breakout]

Culture Change debate

This debate will aim to identify what the workshop participants consider to be the most effective ways of changing the culture surrounding software in research. It consists of a number of themes with facilitated discussions.

The questions for the first part of the discussion are:

  • What are the basic software skills and understanding every scientist needs?
  • Life beyond public grant funding – what happens next?
  • Software reward, citation, attribution. Tracking usage and impact. How do we do it better?

The second part of the discussion looks at the answers to these questions and asks:

  • What efforts are already underway to address these issues?
  • Does this require wide-scale coordination or bottom-up initiatives?
  • Who and what needs to change, to change the status quo?
  • What does it cost to affect the changes required? 

Workshop Registration

This workshop is being held as part of the 8th IEEE International Conference on e-Science. Registration for the workshop is through the main conference website:

Call for Participation [now closed]

Topics of Interest

We invite the submission of work that is related to the topics below. The papers can be either short (4 pages) position/experiences abstracts, or full (8 pages) research papers featuring original, unpublished work.

Topics of interest include:

  • software engineering and software product management best practice as applied to e-Science and computational science;
  • community development, collaborative development, and widening adoption;
  • licensing, funding, and business models for eScience and research software;
  • managing governance and organisational change during the software lifecycle;
  • measuring and analysing the impact of software and software processes;
  • software attribution, citation, and credit;
  • interaction between researchers, developers and stakeholders;
  • transferable software practices from industry.

Submission Instructions

Authors are invited to submit abstracts summarising a position or set of experiences (up to 4 pages) or full research papers with unpublished, original work (not more than 8 pages). All papers should double column text using single spaced 10 point size on 8.5 x 11 inch pages, as per IEEE 8.5 x 11 manuscript guidelines. 

Templates are available from

As we would like to ensure that as many experiences are shared at the workshop, short papers may contain work that has been partially presented elsewhere, or that is still work in progress. These abstracts will not be published as papers in the proceedings.

Authors should submit a PDF file that will print on a PostScript printer to

It is a requirement that at least one author of each accepted paper attend the conference.

Important Dates

  • Papers Due: July 20th, 2012
  • Notification of Acceptance: August 24th, 2012
  • Camera Ready Papers Due: September 5th, 2012


Chairs (email: softwarepractice2012 [at] easychair [dot] org):

  • Neil Chue Hong, Software Sustainability Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Jennifer M. Schopf, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution & National Science Foundation, US

Program Committee:

  • G. Bruce Berriman, California Institute of Technology, USA
  • Ann Borda, VeRSI, Australia
  • Sky Bristol, USGS, USA
  • Duncan Brown, Syracuse University, USA
  • Chris Cannam, SoundSoftware, QMUL UK
  • Ewa Deelman, USC Information Sciences Institute, USA
  • Michel Drescher,
  • David Gavaghan, Oxford University, UK
  • Jill Gemmill, Clemson, USA
  • James Howison, UT Austin, USA
  • Michael McLennan, Purdue University, USA
  • Cameron Neylon, PLoS
  • Alexander Papaspyrou, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany
  • Morris Riedel, FZJ, Germany
  • Judith Segal, Open University, UK
  • Yoshio Tanaka, AIST, Japan
  • Douglas Thain, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Greg Wilson, Software Carpentry, Canada 


[EPSRC11] “Software As An Infrastructure”, EPSRC Strategic Framework (draft for comment), Published online 24 November 2011,

[Han09] Hannay, Jo, et al., “How do scientists develop and use scientific software?” Proceedings of 2009 ICSE Workshop on Software Engineering for Computational Science and Engineering, p1-8, 2009 | doi: 10.1109/SECSE.2009.5069155

[Mer10] Merali, Zeeya, “Computational science: Error…why scientific programming does not compute”, Nature 467, 775-777 (2010) | doi:10.1038/467775a, Published online 13 October. 2010,

[NSF11] National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure Task Force onSoftware for Science and Engineering Final Report, March 2011