Workshop on Knowledge bases and Toolkits 2021 (WoKaTs21) #wokats21

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WoKaTs21 will take place in late October or early November 2021 (exact date to be decided). To register your interest, please fill in the expression of interest form. WoKaTs21 will take place online and will run as a one day workshop.

If you have any questions, please contact Shoaib Sufi (

Why WoKaTs21

Knowledge Bases and Toolkits (KaTs) are a mechanism for knowledge collection, management and distribution. Constructing and maintaining them aids in the capture and promotion of best practice and forms a useful reference for beginners and experts alike in a given domain or area of skill.

KaTs are a hot topic; a number of different projects and individuals are currently growing and nurturing KaTs in areas relevant to the research software community. 

WoKaTs21 is a platform for sharing experiences, discussing best practices and formulating advice for others who are considering or at the early stages of KaT development.

Who should attend

If you are building a KaT of relevance to the Research Software community or are starting out on the journey then you will get the opportunity to hear about similar projects, discuss and formulate advice with others and get ahead on how to build and nurture your KaT.

What do we mean by ‘KaTs’

By Knowledge Bases and Toolkits (KaTs), we mean guides that address a set of specific roles (e.g. researcher, manager) in their efforts to better perform a research or research-related activity (e.g reproducibility, data management, research event management). KaTs highlight tools and guidance to help them achieve their goals, help their productivity and that of their collaborators. Examples of KaTs which we may have come across are Wikis and handbooks that labs put together, sets of necessary, common and best practices that often help onboard people and act as a reference for the group. The KaTs we focus on in WoKaTs21 are more public facing and help address a facet or are of relevance to the research software community in a broad sense.

What’s in a KaT

KaTs can include materials in a variety of forms that cover:

  • Motivation 
    • Why the activity and advice is important and timely
    • What motivated the contributors to formulate the advice
  • Know-how
  • How-to’s / recipes
  • Tools
  • Examples and templates
  • Best practice
  • Guides on how to manage specific challenges in an activity
  • Aids to compliance (e.g. with funder, regulatory or community requirements)
  • Case studies and personas
  • Novel navigational aids to the KaT (e.g. accessibility wheels)
  • Information on how to reuse material and incorporate it in your guidance

Examples of KaTs

Many KaTs aim to be a single reference point for a particular activity or set of related activities and thereby become a trusted source of comprehensive and easy to follow advice that allows those using it to reach their goals, save time and have confidence that they have referred to experts.

Examples of KaTs include:

What is not a KaT

We are not counting a resource which is a set of training lessons as a KaT. KaTs have active and cohesive curation as well as a focus on guiding people around resources. In this sense Programming Historian and The Carpentries lessons (as brilliant as they are) don’t constitute a KaT; if they had additional guidance around the resource and how they sit together - that would be a KaT.

Event roles

Event Lead (SSI) - Shoaib Sufi

Senior stakeholder (SSI) - Neil Chue Hong

Steering group:

  • Toby Hodges (Capentries Curriculum Development Handbook)
  • Malvika Sharan (Turing Way)
  • Munazah Andrabi (ELIXIR RDMKit)
  • Daniele Procida (Diátaxis Framework)
  • Shoaib Sufi (Event Lead & SSI Event Organisation Guide)

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