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RSCL begins with the Software Softlaunch

A look at our inaugural community event

Published onApr 11, 2023
RSCL begins with the Software Softlaunch

On March 29, 2023, just as the blossoms began to appear throughout the city, the first event from the Research Software Community Leiden was held at the Centre for Digital Scholarship in the Universiteit Bibliotheken Leiden.

The meeting was initiated by the following questions:

  1. What does Research Software mean (to you)?

  2. Where might we direct the Research Software Community Leiden?

Researchers, librarians, engineers, and data stewards from across Leiden University, as well as collaborators from neighbouring institutions, gathered to discuss these questions over onigiri 🍙 and coffee ☕️.

The meeting also contained a number of presentations by community members:

Bob Siegerink (LUMC) discussed potential sites of connection with initiatives in responsible research and research integrity and the Research Software Community.

Lieke de Boer (eScience Center) introduced the national organisation on research software, NL-RSE, and considered ways in which our local community could participate in national conversations.

Vincent Traag (CWST) presented his work in sustaining igraph, an open library for the analysis of networks. The talk highlighted challenges in sustainability, development, and maintenance on an ever changing landscape for software.

Kwun Hang (Adrian) Lai (CWTS) engaged us to think broadly about the possibilities of forming our organisation as a community by sharing his journey in developing software as a PhD candidate and noting the resources that would be meaningful to him along the way.

Rutger de Jong (UBL) introduced his ongoing Infrastructures series on Searching the Scholarly Literature with Artificial Intelligence and collected feedback on directions to take the series as it progresses.

Rob Goedemans and Chris Handy (FSG) shared their work in building robust and long-term sustainable infrastructure to research software and data management at the Humanities Faculty of Leiden University.

John Boy (d12n) invited us to consider the feelings of research software development and the interplay of community through recounting his work on software during periods of isolation.

Dan Rudmann (CDS) welcomed everyone to the RSCL and shared the possibilities of a shared communication space through our Community website. He invited community members to co-create both the direction of our community and the content and workflow we produce in generating a culture of software development and management throughout the university.

Those initial questions received enthusiastic responses which will inform the direction of the community. It was an event filled with collegiality and openness, making clear that research software will have a significant future at Leiden University!

Some images and artefacts of the event to follow. Many, many thanks to everyone who joined the event, to all presenters, to Dining Tokyo for the onigiri, and to Hannah DeLacey for logistical support.

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