Academic and Specialized Projects WG

At the Sustain event last February, some of you may have attended the session on academic and specialized projects. I’ve taken a stab at writing up some of the notes into a coherent story, here.

I think there’s more work to be done regarding academic projects and Sustain, and I’d like to start a working group to talk about what we can do.

Specifically, I think it would be great, as the session suggested, to work on these things:

  • Best practices for university administration to facilitate open-source software development
  • Make and curate a list of initiatives, resources (code for science, 4OSS)
  • Make a collection of OSS success stories (eg. user: technology transfer office). I am actively working on this by running a podcast on impactful open source: if you have ideas here, I’d love to hear them and have them on the show.
  • Make a vision statement for academic software ecosystem, where do we want to be in 10 years
  • Define “research software sustainability”
  • Create a checklist for starting successful software project, best practices

Similar work has been done by other WGs as part of Sustain. If this sounds like fun, please sign up for this Doodle Poll for next week.

Thank you! Always happy to discuss further or answer questions on any of this.


I am definitely interested in the periphery! However since I have departed from my academic institution earlier this year, I will not be an active participant for this Working Group. I passed this along to a few other folks who I think may also be interested too.

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I just saw the note about this group starting in the latest SustainOSS newsletter, and am interested in finding out more about what’s been going on!

For background info, I work for the Software Sustainability Institute in the UK, and am also involved in the initiatives FAIR for Research Software, the Research Software Alliance and contributing to things like 4OSS.


Welcome, Neil. Right now, we’re functioning mainly as a group of people to throw ideas off of; Javi brought a wonderful list of Spanish OSPOs to the last meeting, and the meeting before we talked about our shared goals. I’d be good to have you and SSI involved! I invited you using an email I had of yours from WSSSPE from 2016; let me know if you don’t get it.

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Hi all. I was working with a project team in Brazil creating an Open Source tree species identification machine learning model. While talking with them, it raised the question of how to get Open Source projects with academic purposes in mind in front of academic researchers?

Or in other words, how do universities handle procurement of Open Source technology? I imagine the OSPO++ Working Group might have explored this already, but I am curious for feedback from the Academic WG.

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Good question, Justin! I’m not sure. Our next meeting is on Thursday, 11:00am EST. Feel free to hop in?

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Thursday mornings tend to be heavy for me. I am booked up the next couple weeks at 11am EST but I’ll keep up in this thread. I would appreciate if someone might rep this question for me to the Working Group. :grin:

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Our next meeting is this Thursday, at 11:00am EST on January 28th.

Here is a preliminary agenda for you to add items to. Failing any items, we’ll fall back on our general check-ins and discussion. Sustain Academic and Specialized Projects WG - Google Docs