URSSI Blog

CiteAs.org: Discovering and Improving software requests for citation


James Howison (University of Texas at Austin), Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem (Impact Story)October 1, 2018

CiteAs.org links between pieces of software and their requested citations. It enables moving from the name of a piece of software, its webpage URL, or a DOI, directly to the machine-readable metadata (e.g., BibTex, Zotero auto-import) for the citation the author of the software package wants you to use. CiteAs.org is funded by the Digital Science program at the Sloan Foundation (Grant Number 8028), and conceived and developed by Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem at ImpactStory, together with James Howison from the Information School at the University of Texas at Austin.



Software Support for Socio-Environmental Synthesis


Mary Shelley (Director of IT, Univ. of Maryland School of Public Health; formerly Associate Director of Synthesis at SESYNC)September 24, 2018

What do sociologists, ecologists, economists, engineers, anthropologists, geographers, hydrologists, evolutionary biologists, and environmental scientists all have in common? Software! Science at the intersection of humans and the environment increasingly requires collaborative, interdisciplinary work among researchers with varied computing backgrounds to gather insights from highly diverse data at multiple scales. Reliable software is necessary to achieving this synthesis. At the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), we provide cyberinfrastructure support oriented toward helping researchers choose, apply, and develop software to meet the research needs of the 40+ interdisciplinary projects we support at any given time.



Through demand, not lobbying: the emergence of an RSE career path


Simon Hettrick (Software Sustainability Institute)September 17, 2018

When I first started thinking about how we could create a career path for Research Software Engineers (RSEs) in academia, I assumed it would involve persuading university managers to implement a new career path. Quite frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to the interminable bureaucracy that such a change would require me to navigate. Fortunately, a completely different solution quickly gained traction in the UK: the rise of RSE Groups. An RSE Group is a centralized group, based at a university or other research organization, that employs a number of RSEs and then hires them out to researchers across the organization.



Usability, Training, and Software -- Understanding what Investigators in the Life Sciences Need Most


Jason Williams and Lindsay Barone (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)September 11, 2018

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a biologist in possession of a data must be in want of a computer to analyze it on. Or, perhaps not. In 2016 as part of our efforts to better understand the needs of users and potential users of CyVerse (NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure for life sciences), we conducted a survey of NSF-funded investigators to determine what was important for them when it comes to analyzing large datasets.



It takes more than a village to raise good research software


David E. Bernholdt, Lois Curfman McInnes, Michael A. Heroux (IDEAS Productivity Project)September 6, 2018

Software has been both ubiquitous and largely neglected in computational science and engineering (CSE) since before the field became a recognized entity. The interest in CSE software for both practitioners and sponsors has primarily been on the scientific insights and advances it enables rather than on its value as a long-lived tool or product. As a result, the culture of CSE, broadly speaking, has a structure and reward system that focuses on the algorithms and the results, but where good quality research software, as well as the time and effort required to produce it, often tend to be marginalized.



Report from the first URSSI workshop


Karthik Ram, Daniel S. Katz, Jeffrey Carver, Nic Weber, and Sandra GesingAugust 23, 2018

Among the many efforts that are underway as part of NSF’s SI2 program, one of the most cross-cutting efforts is the planning for a US Research Software Institute (URSSI), which was funded in December 2017. This effort aims to plan an institute that would address challenges around making research software sustainable and robust, and more importantly, improve the sustainability of the researchers who develop such software. Some of our initial discussions, described in detail below, have surfaced problems encountered by specific researchers working on specific software applications, but the solutions conceived of and planned for by URSSI are not aimed at any one domain or discipline of research.



Learning and Working Together: Research Software Organizations Around the World


Scott Henwood | Director, Research Software, CANARIEAugust 6, 2018

Note: This is reposted from the CANARIE Blog My previous blog posts have focused on the research software landscape in Canada, but the challenges and opportunities we face are not different from those in other parts of the world. In this post, I provide a brief overview of three international organizations that CANARIE works with as part of our Research Software program. These organizations are very different in their structure and approach to excellence in research software, but as you’ll see, they are all trying to solve common problems.



Results from a US survey about Research Software Engineers


Daniel S. Katz, Sandra Gesing, Olivier Philippe, and Simon HettrickJune 21, 2018

In 2016, the UK Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) ran a first survey of Research Software Engineers (RSEs): the people who write code in academia. This produced the first insight into the demographics, job satisfaction, and practices of RSEs. To support and broaden this work, the Institute planned to run the survey every year in the UK and an ever-expanding number of countries so that insight and comparison can be made across the globe.