Consultation! Generation R – Platform Plans

Welcome to our first round of consultation for the future development of Generation R.

  • You can ask questions or make suggestion on chat with Gitter.
  • We will collate documentation on GitHub, please feel free to jump in.
  • You will find ongoing posts in this consultation category.

Our key issues in this initial consultation are:

  1. How to build a collaborative Open Research Notebook.
  2. Working on contributing to learning resources with our first theme of Software Citation and the partners Open Science MOOC.
  3. Ideas about what is missing on the Open Science community and how Generation R could lend a hand.

Decentralized Web: Theme Announce

This theme will be publishing from the start of September 2018 and run for six weeks.

This is an invitation to contribute and to help develop the ideas.

Ideas and literature will be collated here on GitHub and as a literature / sources list on a Zotero collaborative library


Among the many perspectives and motivations for the interest in the decentralization of the web two areas that seem most compelling for Open Science are:

  • firstly, the ability to verify the provenance of data objects, and
  • secondly, to aid making content independent of platforms and their inevitable lock-in — either from business exploitation or the end of the life cycle of a platform being reached.

The model of decentralization is already firmly instantiated as the Internet, a system that never crashes (fatally), or stops working, and can scale and evolve. The question it would seem we face is how to extend such resilience to research software, platforms, and infrastructures.

Currently the decentralized web has three different technology enabling models in the running.

  • Solid
  • Blockchain
  • DAT

All of these technology options are currently being run in research programmes in academia. We will look to assemble voices from these different communities to look at the motivations and outcomes of this R&D.

For the researcher we will look at how they can get involved in using what is on offer from decentralized systems while keeping their data and time invested in adopting or trialing these technologies somehow safe.

Software Citation and a Collaboration with Open Science MOOC

For the theme Software Citation running from June to the end of the summer we will be looking at how to move over our research and findings over to community learning resources like Open Science MOOC (OS MOOC).

If you would like to get involved you chat on Gitter or check out plans on GitHub.

What we will be doing with Open Science MOOC

OS MOOC are looking to release their first module ‘Open Research Software and Open Source’ over the start of Summer ’18 and Generation R will look to help create a portion of the syllabus on the Software Citation theme.

Material is developed on GitHub and then move it over to OS MOOC’s GitHub instance.

Other learning resources possibilities

Options for other contributions we can make to learning resources are:

  • with literature list collected in Zotero as a ‘collaborative library’ under the tag software-cite,
  • helping review how-to guides in the Software / Data / Library Carpentry field, or
  • in excellent resources such as


Generation R – Platform Plans

Generation R is about the discourse surrounding the effects of increased digitization and networked computing on researchers and academia.

Our editorial is led by four questions about Open Science, with the primary question being how to take a ‘needs based approach’ to researchers and contribute to researchers becoming open scientists — open scholars, or digital humanists — pick your preferred term.

Our four editorial questions on Open Science are:

  • taking a ‘needs based approach’ to researchers,
  • Open Science discourse,
  • improving the making of Open Science software & systems, and
  • addressing imbalances and problems in science knowledge systems.

We aim to encourage more researchers to become involved in shaping and designing the new digital tools, instruments, methods, and infrastructures they use.

What is the consultation about?

We have an outline of a plan for how to organize the Generation R editorial platform. This outline proposes a three channel approach, using

  • blogging,
  • discussion, and
  • documentation resources.

The idea is then to use this three channel combination to help contribute to partner’s learning resources, such as with Open Science MOOC.

We have established the blog using WordPress, but our other channels are a work in progress and here is where we are reaching out to look for pointers and recommendations.

What we’re thinking about:

  • How as an editorial platform and network can we support the Open Science community.
  • Helping evaluating a way forward and consulting on our platform plans.
  • Asking specific platform questions, for example what technologies or platforms to use to make a collaborative Open Research Notebook.

Find out more on our Notebook

Consultation! Generation R – Platform Plans

Images: Photos from the Generation R Kickoff Meeting at TIB, January 2018. CCBY 4.0

#GenR Theme: Software Citation

Running June-Aug ’18 

Margaret Hamilton standing next to the navigation software that she and her MIT team produced for the Apollo Project. 1 Jan 1969, Draper Laboratory; restored by Adam Cuerden, public domain, source Wikimedia Commons

Get in touch if you have a contribution or question. Contact Simon Worthington, Editor, | DM @Gen_R_ | Chat on Gitter

About research software citation

The submission of software as a research output is becoming more common. As a result a number of areas need addressing in research workflows and in the research life cycle of a software project to improve the use of research software.

Two areas for such improvement in the theme of ‘software citation’ in terms of Generation R’s editorial remit of taking ‘a needs based approach to researchers’ are:

  • the use of software and 
  • the development of software.

The benefits can be,

  • that scientific knowledge systems and experiments using research software can be more reliably replicated and built upon more easily, and
  • in the area of software development itself — of making software — can be helped, and increased discovery and reuse.
Read More