Call for Papers: 2nd Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE2)

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This is related to the Supporting Cultural Heritage Open Source Software (SCHOSS) Symposium last month. More on that topic in June. I am serving on the program committee for the WSSSPE2 conference.

Progress in scientific research is dependent on the quality and accessibility of software at all levels and it is critical to address challenges related to the development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software as well as education around software practices. These challenges can be technological, policy based, organizational, and educational, and are of interest to developers (the software community), users (science disciplines), and researchers studying the conduct of science (science of team science, science of organizations, science of science and innovation policy, and social science communities).

The WSSSPE1 workshop ( engaged the broad scientific community to identify challenges and best practices in areas of interest for sustainable scientific software. At WSSSPE2, we invite the community to propose and discuss specific mechanisms to move towards an imagined future practice of software development and usage in science and engineering. The workshop will include multiple mechanisms for participation, encourage team building around solutions, and identify risky solutions with potentially transformative outcomes. Participation by early career students and postdoctoral researchers is strongly encouraged.

We invite short (4-page) actionable papers that will lead to improvements for sustainable software science. These papers could be a call to action, or could provide position or experience reports on sustainable software activities. The papers will be used by the organizing committee to design sessions that will be highly interactive and targeted towards facilitating action. Submitted papers should be archived by a third-party service that provides DOIs. We encourage submitters to license their papers under a Creative Commons license that encourages sharing and remixing, as we will combine ideas (with attribution) into the outcomes of the workshop.

The organizers will invite one or more submitters of provocative papers to start the workshop by presenting highlights of their papers in a keynote presentation to initiate active discussion that will continue throughout the day.

Areas of interest for WSSSPE2, include, but are not limited to:

  • defining software sustainability in the context of science and engineering software
    • how to evaluate software sustainability
  • improving the development process that leads to new software
    • methods to develop sustainable software from the outset
    • effective approaches to reusable software created as a by-product of research
    • impact of computer science research on the development of scientific software
  • recommendations for the support and maintenance of existing software
    • software engineering best practices
    • governance, business, and sustainability models
    • the role of community software repositories, their operation and sustainability
    • reproducibility, transparency needs that may be unique to science
  • successful open source software implementations
    • incentives for using and contributing to open source software
    • transitioning users into contributing developers
  • building large and engaged user communities
    • developing strong advocates
    • measurement of usage and impact
  • encouraging industry’s role in sustainability
    • engagement of industry with volunteer communities
    • incentives for industry
    • incentives for community to contribute to industry-driven projects
  • recommending policy changes
    • software credit, attribution, incentive, and reward
    • issues related to multiple organizations and multiple countries, such as intellectual property, licensing, etc.
    • mechanisms and venues for publishing software, and the role of publishers
  • improving education and training
    • best practices for providing graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in domain communities with sufficient training in software development
    • novel uses of sustainable software in education (K-20)
    • case studies from students on issues around software development in the undergraduate or graduate curricula
  • careers and profession
    • successful examples of career paths for developers
    • institutional changes to support sustainable software such as promotion and tenure metrics, job categories, etc.