4th Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE4)

Call for Submissions:

The 4th Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE4) will be held at the School of Computer Science, Kilburn and IT Buildings, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK over 2 ½ days from September 12th at noon to September 14th at 5:00 pm, 2016.

The workshop immediately precedes and is co-located in Manchester with the First Conference of Research Software Engineers (RSE 2016), being held September 15-16 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.





Progress in scientific research is dependent on the quality and accessibility of research software at all levels. It is now critical to address many new challenges related to the development, deployment, maintenance, and sustainability of open-use research software: the software upon which specific research results rely. Open-use software means that the software is widely accessible (whether open source, shareware, or commercial).

Research software means that the choice of software is essential to specific research results; using different software could produce different results. In addition, it is essential that scientists, researchers, and students are able to learn and adopt a new set of software-related skills and methodologies.

Established researchers are already acquiring some of these skills, and in particular, a specialized class of software developers is emerging in academic environments who are an integral and embedded part of successful research teams. WSSSPE provides a forum for discussion of these challenges, including both positions and experiences, and a forum for the community to assemble and act.

WSSSPE4 will consist of two separate tracks with some joint sessions:

Track 1 – Building a sustainable future for open-use research software has the goals of defining a vision of the future of open-use research software, and in the workshop, initiating the activities that are needed to get there. The idea of this track is to first think about where we want to be 5 to 10 years from now, without being too concerned with where we are today, and then to determine how we can move to this future.

Track 2 – Practices & experiences in sustainable scientific software has the goal of improving the quality of today’s research software and the experiences of its developers by sharing practices and experiences. This track is focused on the current state of scientific software and what we can do to improve it in the short term, starting with where we are today.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

• Development and Community

   • Best practices for developing sustainable software

   • Models for funding specialist expertise in software collaborations

   • Software tools that aid sustainability

   • Academia/industry interaction

   • Refactoring/improving legacy scientific software

   • Engineering design for sustainable software

   • Metrics for the success of scientific software

   • Adaptation of mainstream software practices for scientific software

• Professionalization

   • Career paths

   • RSE as a brand

   • RSE outside of the UK or Europe

   • Increase incentives in publishing, funding and promotion for better software

• Training

   • Training for developing sustainable software

   • Curriculum for software sustainability

• Credit

   • Making the existing credit and citation ecosystem work better for software

   • Future credit and citation ecosystem

   • Software contributions as a part of tenure review

   • Case studies of receiving credit for software contributions

   • Awards and recognition that encourage sustainable software

• Software publishing

   • Journals and alternative venues for publishing software

   • Review processes for published software

• Software discoverability/reuse

   • Proposals and case studies

• Reproducibility and testing

   • Reproducibility in conferences and journals

   • Best practices for code testing and code review


Check the WSSSPE4 website for important dates and more information on the submission process and agenda.