Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter - February 2019

Welcome to our second Research Software Community monthly newsletter

We’re always on the look out for interesting events, activities, projects, software libraries and tools, so if you come across something that you think may be of interest to the community and that you’d like to see included in our next newsletter, do let us know. Likewise, we’re always happy to receive feedback and suggestions. Details of how to get in touch are at the end of the newsletter.

February has been a busy month for research software activities at Imperial and around the London region in general with the RSLondonSouthEast workshop which took place earlier in the month, Imperial’s software carpentry team running one of their regular, well-attended, workshops and an Imperial/RSLondon talk taking place at the end of the month.

In this month’s newsletter:

Upcoming events

Event report: RSLondonSouthEast 2019

Thursday 7th February saw the first of what is planned to be an annual workshop for researchers, software developers, academics, systems/infrastructure professionals and anyone based in the London and South East region who is building or working with research software. The RSLondonSouthEast 2019 workshop was held at the Royal Society and attracted over 100 registrations from individuals based at more than 20 different institutions. There were a number of Imperial community members present. The workshop started with a keynote from Professor Spencer Sherwin of Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics and Director of the Research Computing Service. Following the keynote there was a full-day programme of eight 15-minute standard talks and nine 5-minute lightning talks offering an insight to a wide variety of different RSE work going on at institutions within the region. There was also time for networking and discussion at coffee and lunch breaks, nine posters on display and a round-table group discussion session in which participants looked at two specific questions that were pitched by the session organisers. The discussions generated some very interesting feedback and ideas to help the community grow and to help highlight where the community can best support its members.

The workshop received a number of abstract submissions for talks and posters and all submissions were anonymously reviewed by three reviewers. Imperial was well represented in the schedule with 3 talks from different departments/groups in the College, in addition to the keynote. Mark Woodbridge’s blog post on the event highlights the Imperial talks.

Research Software of the Month

Following Richard FitzJohn’s presentation on reproducible research and “productionising” research code at RSLondonSouthEast 2019, we’re highlighting Orderly – an R package to order, produce and store reports from a database. It’s a tool that addresses provenance – tracking how research outputs are generated from source data and ensuring that the analysis is repeatable. The project’s approach to software engineering is worth taking a look at – including automated builds and 100% test coverage.

Orderly is developed by Richard FitzJohn, Martin Eden, Tini Garske, Alexandra Hill, Wes Hinsley, Emma Russell and James Thompson in the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial.

Research Software News



Blog posts and papers

Get in touch, get involved!

The Imperial Research Software Community is run by a committee of community volunteers. We’re keen to ensure that the community provides useful and interesting activities to its members and are always happy to receive feedback to help improve the community. You can contact the community committee at

If you’d like to get involved with the running of the community, why not volunteer to join the committee. We’re also always looking for speakers for our events. If you’d like to give a presentation to the community, or just a short 5-minute lightning talk describing work you’ve been doing, an interesting idea or collaboration, or a new tool that you love using and would really like to share with the community, get in touch.

That’s all for the February newsletter. We hope you’ve found something of interest here and do send us anything that you come across that you would like to appear in next month’s newsletter. Thanks to everyone who contributed material for this newsletter.

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This edition of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Jeremy Cohen