Friday, 12 March 2010

Let's get together

And so back from the OMII-UK collaborative workshop which took place in Edinburgh Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Like last years event, it was a really interesting and productive 2 days with many actions resulting from the in-depth discussion groups. The great thing about the workshop is that it's not death by PowerPoint. The sessions are discussions sessions where delegates chose from a range of topics, disappear off into groups in various parts of NeSC and then after an hour everyone reconvenes and reports back their findings. Importantly it's not just findings but short-term and long-term actions that are reported back!

Unsurprisingly as the NGS outreach person, I attended several sessions on collaboration and was the "report back" person for the session on "assistance with publicity, outreach and dissemination"which had a healthy audience (obviously a pertinent topic!).

There were many findings over the past two days and these can be found ordered by session on the event website. However the one that really stuck in my mind was something that was raised by several of the researchers who attended the meeting.

They have things they need done which they can't do themself eg code written, advice on optimising or tweaking existing software. They need computer scientists for this but they don't know how to "hook up" with them for want of a better description! The things they need done quite often aren't large projects and may only take a few weeks or less but they don't know where to go for help, who to approach and who is best suited for the job.

Several possible ways of tackling this problem were suggested at the event and if you are interested in the ideas that came up, the slides from this particular topic can be found on the website under - "Long-term researcher-driven collaborations" and "Collaboration 2". This was such a popular topic that we ended up with 2 discussion sessions.

So the question is for those research scientists out there who work with computer scientists - how did you hook up? How did you get together and form a collaboration?

No comments: