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Satellite event

Tutorial 4OSS, Monday October 22, 2018, full day (09:00 – 18:00)

Adopting Open Source Software FAIR Practices
The “ELIXIR Training Platform” is partnering with The Carpentries (Software and Data Carpentry) to train life science researchers in computing and data management skills. The “ELIXIR Software development best practices” group, which is part of the ELIXIR Tools Platform, has proposed “Four simple recommendations to encourage best practices in research software” [1] aiming to help researchers and developers to adopt Open Source Software (OSS) practices and thus improve the quality and sustainability of research software. In order to encourage researchers and developers to adopt the four recommendations (4OSS) and build FAIR software, we developed specific training materials, taking advantage of the Carpentries approach and experience in training material development and maintenance.
The goal of this tutorial is twofold: promote the adoption of the 4OSS recommendations and introduce the participants to the training materials developed to teach researchers and developers how to implement OSS practices in their research software.

Learning objectives

By the end of the tutorial participants will be familiar with:

  • The Four Recommendations to adopt Open Source Software practices
  • Training materials developed to teach how to adopt the Recommendations
  • The Carpentries model for lesson development

Target audience

Researchers and developers who are interested in learning how to fairly and effectively collaborate on software research projects and how to make their software more FAIR by adopting simple practices such as make their source code publicly available and easily discoverable, or assign an open source licence to their software in order to make it reusable.


First, participants will be introduced to the “Four simple recommendations to encourage best practices in research software” and to the lesson materials developed by the Software Development Best Practices ELIXIR Group. After the introduction, participants will have the opportunity to look closer at the lesson, try it out, give feedback and contribute improvements, thus taking full advantage of what the lesson teaches.
The lesson is organised in four “episodes” (sections), one per recommendation. These are:

  1. Make source code publicly accessible from day one
  2. Make software easy to discover by providing software metadata via a popular community registry
  3. Adopt a licence and comply with the licence of third-party dependencies
  4. Define clear and transparent contribution, governance and communication processes

The tutorial is meant to make participants aware of the importance of developing and making use of FAIR research software in order to share.
You can find here more information about Open Source Software, the 4OSS lesson, the 4OSS working group and the 4 recommendation.


The tutorial will consist of two independent parts, lasting half day each, and allowing participants who will attend the NETTAB workshop (starting the same day at 2pm) to only attend the first part.

  1. An introduction to “Four simple recommendations…” and how to implement them in your research software;
  2. A close look at the training materials developed to teach researchers and developers how to implement OSS practices in their research software.

The tutorial will be highly interactive and will include active work in pairs and in groups.

Registration deadline and modality

Fee: Free
An Eventbrite page has been implemented for registration.
See https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/adopting-open-source-software-fair-practices-tickets-49080458974.
Number of participants: 30.
Deadline: No (people can keep registering until the max number of participants is reached).
Contact person: Mateusz Kuzak – mateusz.kuzak@dtls.nl

Tutorial speakers

Allegra Via, IBPM-CNR, Italy
Allegra Via is a scientific researcher at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM) of the National Research Council (CNR, Rome, IT). She has a Master Degree in Physics and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and more than 15-year experience in protein structural bioinformatics, protein structure and function prediction and analysis, and protein interactions. Since 2014, she is the ELIXIR-IT Training coordinator, and the lead of the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE Train the Trainer subtask and the ELIXIR-Carpentries working group. As such, she is involved in the design, organisation and delivery of bioinformatics training courses, in Train the Trainer activities, and collaborates with other ELIXIR’s nodes on many training-related initiatives. She has a long track record of both training and academic teaching. Currently, her research interests have shifted into cognitive psychology and how this discipline can explain and facilitate learning processes, support curriculum development and help in the assessment of learning. She is a member of the Global Organisation of Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training (GOBLET) and a Software/Data Carpentry Instructor and Instructor trainer.

Mateusz Kuzak, Dutch Techcenter for Life Sciences, The Netherlands
Mateusz Kuzak is a Scientific Community Manager at the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL), where he works at the interface of training, technology and data platforms and the research community in the Netherlands. Mateusz is also deputy Training Coordinator for ELIXIR-Netherlands. Before joining DTL, Mateusz was building research software at the Netherlands eScience Center in collaborative projects with domain scientists. At the Center, Mateusz also helped to develop the training program around essential computing skills offered to project partners. Before becoming a Research Software Engineer, he worked in the field of Biophysics spending lots of time with microscopes. Mateusz is also involved in the Carpentries community as an instructor, trainer, mentor and Executive Council member.

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