Conquaire Continuous quality control for research data to ensure reproducibility

TIB conference on Software and Services for Science at Hannover!

The 2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information Software and Services for Science (S3) was held from 10-11th May 2017 in Hannover. The event was hosted by the Leibnizhaus, the the home of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), a scholar and polymath from Europe. For a change, Christian and Vid were attending not as presenters, rather as attendees and were treated to an opening welcome addresses by Barbara Hartung from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, Germany. Then, Irina Sens (Interim Director of the Technische Informationsbibliothek [TIB] and Wolfgang Nejdl (Founding Director and Head of the L3S Research Center / University of Hanover, Germany) addressed the attendees.

The Keynote address by Edzer Pebesma from the University of Münster, Germany addressed the topic of “Incentives and rewards in scientific software communities”, touching upon the fact that most cited papers are not describing discoveries or scientific-breakthroughs and introduced the O2R project using docker containers to encapsulate data for reuse and sharing.

We had met Konrad U. Förstner at Berlin and it was nice to meet him again and hear him elaborate on “What is good scientific practice for research software?”. He spoke about science having a strong and growing dependency of research on software. This required that we ensured quality, accessibility and citabiity, but the problem of lack of awareness, skills, not having enough time not incentives due to lack of dedicated long-term funding ensured that good scientific practices for research software were not adhered to. As before, teh SWC was a shining example as was the SSI.

Then, Nikolaus Forgó spoke about the “Legal requirements for software sharing and collaboration”, the Copyright Act and other licensing issues. This was an educational session as technologists shy away from legalese but it helps to learn about the complexity of the legal maze. During the lunch break, I had rare opportunity to pick Benjamin Ragan-Kelley’s brains (@minrk, on github) about the cool work he does on Jupyter.

We also had talks on “Managing research software from the perspective of a scientific infrastructure provider” and the DANS perspective on Solid scenario’s for sustainable software which touched upon the stakeholders in research projects. The third session on persistent software referencing, had Daniel speaking about Software citation in software-enabled research as it was not a one-time effort, rather it had to be maintained. He asked people to cite the software itself, not just the paper.

The day ended with other sessions on Workflows for assigning and tracking DOIs for scientific software by Martin and “Software as a first-class citizen in web archives” by Helge Holzmann from the L3S Research Center.

The second day was a half-day session starting with the “The collaborative creation of an open software platform for researchers addressing Europe’s societal challenges” session that elaborated on the Data Value Chain Evolution and Semantic data lake.

Neil Chue Hong from SSI (UK) spoke about Software sustainability and had some important guidelines for the selfish scientist. Then Thomas explained how researchers can tidy up the jungle of mathematical models to create sustainable research software. Benjamin gave an introduction to Jupyter and IPython that could be used as a research tool to facilitate open access and reproducible research. The last session was on the much-awaited “Blockchain” that looked at new crypto-graphical methods. The half-day session ended at 12:30H with the talk on “ peer to peer science” by James Littlejohn from the Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom