March 2021 Community Call


The next US-RSE community call is on March 11th at 12ET/11CT/10MT/9PT.

The main topic of discussion is “Changing How Academia views RSEs”

We will focus on questions like how different institutions see the role of RSEs in research or how the work of RSEs is being recognized, for example, in terms of career progression and retention. This topic is related to our January community call “RSE careers in academia,” however, it extends beyond career paths. How are the products of RSE work and RSEs themselves being valued by academia?

Clearly this is a topic on the US-RSE community’s collective mind. During this community call we thought we could try to start to develop the skeleton of a collectively authored white paper on this topic, to be published on the US-RSE website. The goal for the white paper could be not just to identify areas that need improvement, but also to promote concrete actions and steps toward a more ideal landscape. In the call we plan to have breakout groups around different possible subsections of a white paper and then discuss in a plenary session at the close. After the call, we plan to try some open, distributed, asynchronous writing to finalize a document that will hopefully capture our collective perspectives, thoughts and ideas.

Suggested subsections:

  1. Career paths for RSEs in RSE groups as well as RSEs not in groups. If there is an RSE group, does that mean the institution has accepted the importance of RSEs? How are RSEs who do not work in dedicated RSE groups valued? How is funding of RSE positions handled (short term contracts/long term contracts, etc.)?
  2. Recognition of work. What are desired ways to be recognized (co-authorship, acknowledgements, citation, etc.)? And is this recognition happening?
  3. How do institutions treat the products of RSE work? Does it matter, for example, how often a piece of software is reused, or in how many papers it is used? Is there support for ongoing maintenance?
  4. Possible activities. What are things US-RSE could do to help bring the attention of institutions to the value of RSE work? What are things RSEs could do to help bring the attention of institutions to the value of RSE work?


US-RSE welcome

  1. US-RSE updates
  2. Updates from working groups
  3. Other news
  4. Breakout groups - work in subsections
  5. Plenary
  6. Summary discussion

Registration details

Information on how to register for the Zoom meeting has been sent via email and posted in the #general and #communitycalls channels on Slack.