Nov. 20 seminar seeks to expand research software developers' toolkits

Software is an indispensable tool for researchers using advanced or high-performance computing methods in their work. It enables them to analyze data sets, develop simulations and visualizations, and build sophisticated models. Yet the value of software developed by researchers is sometimes overlooked.

To help address this, Seth Erickson, a Penn State librarian whose focus is research software curation, will present a seminar titled “A Research Software Developer’s Toolkit” at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in W203 Millennium Science Complex at University Park. The talk, hosted by the Institute for CyberScience, is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

“For many researchers, software plays an important research infrastructure role,” said Erickson, software curation librarian in the University Libraries’ Research Informatics and Publishing Department. “Codes are one way researchers can make a name for themselves and make a contribution to the research community.”

At the seminar, Erickson hopes to spark conversations about how researchers see software’s role in their work, how they use and archive it, how they are credited for their development work, and how software serves both their needs and the needs of the broader research community. The seminar is geared toward any researcher who develops or modifies code as part of their work, regardless of discipline.

“I’m hoping that attendees will take away tips about the code archiving process so their codes can be easily credited and reused,” said Erickson. “I also want people to know that we at the Libraries are here to help answer questions and point researchers to useful tools.”

Erickson will touch on Open Source Initiative licenses; tools for supporting reproducibility, such as BinderHub and ReproZip; repositories for creating citable software packages, such as Zenodo and ScholarSphere; code documentation standards, such as CodeMeta; and more.

To register or learn more, visit the Institute for CyberScience website at https://ics.psu.edu/news-events/cyberscience-seminars.