Final Call for Participation:
3rd Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE3)

September 28-29, 2015, Boulder, CO
(Co-located with 10th Gateway Community Environments (GCE15) Workshop)

Progress in scientific research is dependent on the quality and accessibility of software at all levels and it is now critical to address many new challenges related to the development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software. In addition, it is essential that scientists, researchers, and students are able to learn and adopt a new set of software-related skills and methodologies. Established researchers are already acquiring some of these skills, and in particular a specialized class of software developers is emerging in academic environments who are an integral and embedded part of successful research teams. WSSSPE provides a forum for discussing these challenges, including presenting both positions and experiences, as well as a forum for the community to assemble and act.

Workshop Format: 

  • Opening keynote: Matthew Turk, University of Illinois
  • Lightning talks
  • Team sessions – list of possible sessions below
  • Team progress report-back to plenary group
  • During the workshop, teams will “pitch” their ideas to the audience, possibly including some funders (who would not committed to funding anything, just providing feedback), including e.g., NSF, NIH, EPSRC, Sloan.

Call for Participation / Actions:

  1. Save the dates for WSSSPE3: 28-29 September, 2015, Boulder, CO
  2. Register for WSSSPE3 and plan your travel:
  3. Get started on discussing and planning for team sessions by commenting on them at (note: they are listed as GitHub issues, so you will need to signup for a GitHub account if you don’t have one)
  4. Join the WSSSPE mailing list to be sure to get further information on WSSSPE3 – via

Travel Support:

Applications for travel support are now closed.

Important Dates:

  • Lightning talk submissions: 7 August 2015 (any time of day, no further extensions)
  • Lighting talk decisions: 17 August 2015
  • Travel support requests: 26 August 2015 (closed on 18 September 2015)
  • Decisions on travel support announced: about 31 August 2015
  • Workshop: 28-29 September 2015
  • Post-workshop report writing (participation is open to all): 30 September 2015


The WSSSPE1 workshop ( engaged the broad scientific community to identify challenges and best practices in areas relevant to sustainable scientific software.  WSSSPE2  ( invited the community to propose and discuss specific mechanisms to move towards an imagined future practice of software development and usage in science and engineering.

WSSSPE3 will organize self-directed teams that will collaborate prior to and during the workshop to create vision documents, proposals, papers, and action plans that will help the scientific software community produce software that is more sustainable, including developing sustainable career paths for community members. These teams are intended to lead into working groups that will be active after the workshop, if appropriate, working collaboratively to achieve their goals, and seeking funding to do so if needed.

Potential WSSSPE3 team activities, based on the breakout groups in WSSSPE2 and additional community suggestions, are:

  • Development and Community
    • Writing a white paper/review paper about best practices in developing sustainable software
    • Documenting successful models for funding specialist expertise in software collaborations
    • Creating and curating catalogs for software tools that aid sustainability (perhaps categorized by domain, programming languages, architectures, and/or functions, e.g., for code testing, documentation)
    • Documenting case studies for academia/industry interaction
    • Determining effective strategies for refactoring/improving legacy scientific software
    • Determining principles for engineering design for sustainable software
    • Create a set of guidance giving examples of specific metrics for the success of scientific software in use, why they were chosen, what they are useful to measure, and any challenges/pitfalls; then publish this as a white paper
  • Training
    • Writing a white paper on training for developing sustainable software, and coordinating multiple ongoing training-oriented projects
    • Developing curriculum for software sustainability, and ideas about where such curriculum would be presented, such as a summer training institute
  • Credit
    • Hacking the credit and citation ecosystem (making it work, or work better, for software)
    • Developing a taxonomy of contributorship/guidelines for including software contributions in tenure review
    • Documenting case studies of receiving credit for software contributions
    • Developing a system of awards and recognitions to encourage sustainable software
  • Publishing
    • Developing a categorization of journals that publish software papers (building on existing work), and case studies of alternative publishing mechanisms that have been shown to improve software discoverability/reuse e.g., popular blogs/websites
    • Determining what journals that publish software paper should provide to their reviewers (e.g., guidelines, mechanisms, metadata standards, etc.)
  • Reproducibility and testing
    • Building a toolkit that could allow conference organizers to easily add a reproducibility track
    • Documenting best practices for code testing and code review
  • Documentation
    • Develop landing pages on the WSSSPE website (or elsewhere) that enable the community to easily find up-to-date information on a WSSSPE topic (e.g., software credit, scientific software metrics, testing scientific software)



  • Daniel S. Katz,, University of Chicago & Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • Gabrielle Allen,, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Sou-Cheng (Terrya) Choi,,  NORC at the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
  • Neil Chue Hong,, Software Sustainability Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Sandra Gesing,, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Lorraine J. Hwang,, University of California, Davis, USA
  • Manish Parashar,, Rutgers University, USA
  • Erin Robinson,, Foundation for Earth Science, USA (local organizer)
  • Matthew Turk,, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Colin C. Venters,, University of Huddersfield, UK