As a member of the WSSSPE4 Organising Committee, we are pleased to share the first call for submissions for the 4th Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences, to be held at the University of Manchester, UK, from 12-14 September 2016 (co-located with the 1st Conference of Research Software Engineers).
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 specialised 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 and 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.