LA-CoNGA at the Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaboration Workshop 2023

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The Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) hosted its first ever hybrid Collaborations Workshop (CW23) in Manchester, UK and online, between May 2nd and 4th, 2023. CW23 brought together researchers, developers, funders, policymakers and teachers all gathered around the topic of sustainable technical, personal and career development in the research software community. There were three days of keynote presentations, discussion panels and lightning talks driven by a caring community with a strong focus on respect, communication and inclusivity. 

As part of CW23, LA-CoNGA physics and MetaDocencia with the support of The Turing Way, organized a hybrid in-person+online workshop exploring if current concepts and practices around Open Science are global and universal. We piloted a survey aiming to understand the current barriers, successful practices and possible improvements needed for the implementation of Open Science in Latin America. 

Among the barriers that the 18 workshop participants raised in the survey, we can cite difficulties in accessing funding and lack of institutional support and recognition. They highlighted that these barriers are sometimes aggravated in the Global South due to asymmetries in the access to funding, computational resources and high-speed internet. The participants also shared and discussed during the session some good practices in order to make inter-regional and/or inter-institutional collaboration easier, like facilitating access to technical training, cultural awareness, translation and contextualization of materials from English, clear communication of plans and goals, and using work methodologies adapted to remote working, e.g. time-zone varying telcons, sharing recordings, etc. 

Some of these recommendations can be implemented locally/internally in the different organizations and initiatives. However, some of these changes, like providing funding alternatives will require top-down policies from major organisations and the government in order to make the efforts sustainable. The outcome of the session has been used as the basis for a survey project, part of Reina’s SSI/OLS fellowship project, which explores the interactions of initiatives, programs and/or organizations that promote open science with the science diplomacy schemes in Latin America. A new survey, created in collaboration with the Science Diplomacy Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (DiploCientifica), is now available and we invite all the organizations working on the implementation of Open Science in Latin America to collaborate with this study: The survey (in Spanish) will be available until July 31st, 2023.

A big shout out to the organizing committee for the effort of bringing people together in person and remotely and thanks to everyone involved for making our first Collaboration Workshop an unforgettable experience.

Reina Camacho Toro, CNRS/LPNHE and LA-CoNGA physics

Nicolas Palopoli, UNQ-CONICET and MetaDocencia

Camila Rangel Smith, The Alan Turing Institute

In-person and online attendees at the first hybrid Collaborations Workshop hosted by SSI. Image – SSI events

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