First Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE)
(in conjunction with SC13)
Sunday, November 17, 2013, Denver, CO
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. This workshop will provide a forum for discussion of the challenges, including both positions and experiences. The short papers and discussion will be archived as a basis for continued discussion, and we intend the workshop to feed into the collaborative writing of one or more journal publications.

In practice, scientific software activities are part of an ecosystem where key roles are held by developers, users, and funders.  All three groups supply resources to the ecosystem, as well as requirements that bound it.  Roughly following the example of NSF’s Vision and Strategy for Software (, the ecosystem may be viewed as having challenges related to:

  • the development process that leads to new software
    • how fundamental research in computer science or science/engineering domains is turned  into reusable software
    • software created as a by-product of research
    • impact of computer science research on the development of scientific software
  • the support and maintenance of existing software, including
    • software engineering
    • governance, business, and sustainability models
    • the role of community software repositories, their operation and sustainability
  • the role of open source communities or industry
  • use of the software
    • growing communities
    • reproducibility, transparency needs that may be unique to science
  • policy issues, such as
    • measuring usage and impact
    • software credit, attribution, incentive, and reward
    • career paths for developers and institutional roles
    • issues related to multiple organizations and multiple countries, such as intellectual property, licensing, etc.
    • mechanisms and venues for publishing software, and the role of publishers
  • education and training

This workshop is interested in all of the above topics.  We invite short (4-page) position/experience reports that will be used to organize panel and discussion sessions.  These papers will be archived by a third-party service, and provided DOIs. We encourage submitters to license their papers under a Creative Commons license that encourages sharing and remixing, as we will combine ideas (with attribution) into the outcomes of the workshop.  An interactive site will be created to link these papers and the workshop discussion, with options for later comments and contributions.  Contributions will be peer-reviewed for relevance and originality before the links are added to the workshop site; contributions will also be used to determine discussion topics and panelists.  We will also plan one or more papers to be collaboratively developed by the contributors, based on the panels and discussions.


6 September 2013 (any time of day, no extensions)


Submissions of up to four pages should be formatted to be easily readable and submitted to an open access repository that provides unique identifiers that can be cited, for example,, etc.  The submitter should then email the URL and identifier (or any questions) to


Program Committee:

  • David Abramson, University of Queensland, Australia
  • Aron Ahmadia, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, USA
  • Samuel Arbesman, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, USA
  • Lorena A. Barba, Boston University, USA
  • Phil Bourne, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Karen Cranston, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, USA
  • Ewa Deelman, University of Southern California, USA
  • David De Roure, University of Oxford, UK
  • Alberto Di Meglio, CERN, Switzerland
  • Anshu Dubey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
  • Victor Eruhimov, Itseez, Russian Federation
  • David Gavaghan, University of Oxford, UK
  • Paul Ginsparg, Cornell University, USA
  • Alexander A. Granovsky, Firefly project, Russian Federation
  • Josh Greenberg, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, USA
  • Sol Greenspan, National Science Foundation, USA
  • James Herbsleb, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • James Hetherington, University College London, UK
  • James Howison, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Frank Löffler, Louisiana State University, USA
  • Greg Madey, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Chris A. Mattmann, NASA JPL & University of Southern California, USA
  • Lois Curfman McInnes, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • Chris Mentzel, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, USA
  • Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Cameron Neylon, PLOS, UK
  • Mark Plumbley, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Andreas Prlic, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Morris Riedel, Juelich Supercomputing Centre, Germany
  • Jennifer M. Schopf, IEEE Computer Society, USA
  • Edgar Spalding, University of Wisconsin, USA
  • Victoria Stodden, Columbia University, USA
  • Matthew Turk, Columbia University, USA
  • Greg Watson, IBM, USA
  • Scott Wilson, OSS Watch, UK
  • Theresa Windus, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory, USA