Collaborations workshop 2016

Legal gravelYou could work all night and all day at the CW17 Hackday but you might be interested in knowing how you are going to be judged, if so - this page is for you!


Each idea/pitch needs to be presented and registered by the evening of Tuesday 28 March 2017 to be officially part of the CW17 Hackday (HD). When registering your idea/pitch you will be asked about the team leader, details of what you plan and the category of your idea/pitch (e.g. Software and Credit, Data/Code Sharing, Reproducible Research, Bring-Your-Own-Data (BYOD), Collaborative working etc.) Note the ideas need not be about writing software: they could be standards related, paper hackathons or some other research software related activity.

Each idea will have a Team leader; the leader could be the idea owner, the pitch author/leader or someone who has decided to form a team around someone else’s idea/open data.

Each team can have a maximum of six people who are not Institute Staff in it. We recommend a minimum of two people in a team; we have a limit on the number of teams - if there are more than 15, preference will be given to the bigger teams (not who came first). If a team becomes too big we may ask you to become two teams but working on the same pitch/idea.
Once your team is formed towards the latter part of the evening of the 28nd March, we strongly suggest you have a free and frank discussion with your team about the licensing around the code and data…

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Handcuff. Image by Naiane Mello. Robert Davey, The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), Ross Mounce, University of Cambridge, Larisa Blazic, University of Westminster, Anelda van der Walt, Talarify, and Raniere Silva, Software Sustainability Institute.

A speed blog from the Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16).

The Open Science movement is facing a challenge - how do we convince our peers to liberate their science? During the Collaborations Workshop 2016, we developed these 9 steps to help anyone that is unsure what Open Science is, or who are looking to make their science more open.

Step 1: Learn What Open Research Can Do For You

Are you looking for ways to advance your career, attract new collaborators, or get more funding? These are only a few reasons to start applying open research practices. Why Open Research is a great resource that explains the benefits of open research to you, the researcher or postgraduate student.

Step 2:…

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Normally after an hour of discussion on a research software related topic at a workshop, a discussion group would stand up for 2-3 minutes and present back their findings (e.g. problems, solutions, future work or however they chose to speak about a topic). However without context the notes produced from such a session were not of much use to the wider research software community after the workshop. So, what's the solution?

As well as a discussion, the group should also produce the outputs as a blog. We trialed this at the Fellows Inaugural meeting in Feb 2016 and Institute Fellow, Melodee Beals coined the term 'speed blogging' which we now use.

Speed blogs can be completed and be publication read during the allotted time at an event or they can be near complete after the event and then tidied up and made ready for publication soon after the event. Thus they are time bound, time sensitive and are a fixed task that does not represent an ongoing commitment.

Tips for writing collaborative speed blogs

Blogs are written but you may sometimes choose a different format

Ideally your speed blog will be a written piece with a picture (max 2) and contain some links and references. In terms of word count you are aiming for between 500 and 1200…

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Discussion sessions allow a group of people to discuss a topic that interests them in a way that furthers our knowledge of that topic. They were a fundamental part of the Collaborations Workshop and helped people learn about new ideas and work on solving shared problems.


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Monday 21 March 2016

09:30 - 10:00 Arrival & coffee
10:00 - 10:05 Welcome to CW16 (Shoaib Sufi) (Video)
10:05 - 10:25 Introducing the Institute and getting the most out of a Collaborations Workshop (Neil Chue Hong) (Video)
10:25 - 11:00 Lightning Talks 1 (Chair: Shoaib Sufi)
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee - Check and suggest discussion topics on boards in Fellows Library
11:30 - 12:00 Lightning Talks 2 (Chair: Shoaib Sufi)
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch - till 12.30 propose new discussion topics, till 1pm all get two votes to select
13:00 - 14:00 Lightning Talks 3 (Chair: Simon Hettrick)
14:00 - 15:30 Describing your research, a better writing session by David Robson, BBC Science Communicator.
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 16:10…

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By Shoaib Sufi, Community Lead, Software Sustainability Institute.

The Institute’s Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16) took place from 21-23 March 2016 at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The opening slide set the scene displaying a weighted representation of which software the people attending used in their daily work. Shoaib Sufi’s welcome to attendees was followed by an introduction from the Institute Director, Neil Chue Hong. Neil spoke about the work of the Institute and how to get the most out of a Collaborations Workshop (CW). The clue was very much in the name, the main idea was to meet people, people you may not have met before, thus widening your network of potential collaborators. With over 80 attending it made for a real opportunity to learn and share. We cover how the workshop unfolded below.

Lightning talks

We moved quickly onto lightning talks; these gave attendees 2 minutes to talk about aspects of their work and how this related to the theme and sub-themes of the workshop: Software & Credit, Reproducible Research, Collaborative working, code/data sharing and data science. We had almost…

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Path. Image by Miguel Carvalho. Mark Stillwell, Cisco Meraki, Caroline Jay, University of Manchester,  Robert Haines, University of Manchester, Louise Brown, University of Nottingham, Jeremy Cohen, Imperial College London, Alys Brett, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Shih-Chen Chao, University of Manchester, Raquel Alegre, UCL, James Davenport, University of Bath, and James…

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'Girls carrying hay bundles' by Inhabitat (CC-BY-NC-ND)By M.H. Beals, Loughborough University, J. H, Nielsen, UCL, B. A. Laken, UCL and M. Antonioletti, University of Edinburgh.

A speed blog from the Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16).

The importance and credit associated with publishing negative results.

As researchers, the majority our experiments and explorations do not always pan out. When this occurs, pressure prompts us to move on to the next idea, looking for that big result that will make our name and build our reputation. What are the knock-on effects of doing this? By not reporting our failures, are we cursing others to repeat them? Does our tendency to curate our results slow our progress and, if so, can we change this?

The negative and the null

First, let us distinguish between null results and making a refutations of established work. The latter is an expected, and…

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Image by CASTLE ROCK INNOVATIONS.By David Perez-Suarez, University College London, Phil Bradbury, University of Manchester, Aleksandra Nenadic, University of Manchester, Laurent Gatto, Cambridge University, and Niall Beard, University of Manchester.

A speed blog from the Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16).

Remote collaboration: challenges in Human-Computer-Human interactions.

Tools that were mentioned during the discussion: GitHub, BitBucket, GitHub issue tracker, Skype, Google Hangouts (but max participants in Skype/Google Hangouts), Google Docs, spreadsheets, Jira, todo lists, time sheets, DropBox, … but are tools really the problem?

Use cases: coding, remote teaching, writing papers, large open-source development.

We started our discussion with a list of tools and use cases from our own experience: GitHub, BitBucket, GitHub issue tracker, Skype, Google Hangouts (but max participants in Skype/Google Hangouts), Google Docs, spreadsheets, Jira, todo lists, time sheets, DropBox, … for situations like coding, remote teaching, writing papers, large open-source development. Despite the availability of these tools, some being really good, we were left to wonder whether the tools were really the problem, here?

How is the Team…

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By Oliva Guest, University of Oxford, Robin Wilson, University of Southampton, Martin Jones, Python for biologists and Craig MacLachlan, Met Office Hadley Centre.

A speed blog from the Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16).

Why are sustainable software practices difficult to teach?

Programming is a difficult thing to learn for students who have not been exposed to it before. However, for general programming there are at least some factors that help to make it easier. Feedback is generally very rapid; after writing and running a piece of code, students can see the result straight away. This isn't true for e.g. automated testing; the payoff for writing a test suite comes long after the fact, when it helps to catch a bug. The same goes for version control — until students have encountered one of the problems that version control is designed to solve, it seems like an unnecessary extra step in development.

Increasingly, programming is becoming a necessary tool for students who don't have a computer science background (represented in this discussion group: meteorologists, biologists, psychologists and physicists). Students coming to programming for the first time are often lacking in computer…

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