eLife Innovation Sprint 2020

Since 2018, eLife has been running a yearly innovation sprint, focusing on projects and ideas that have the potential to transform how research is done and shared. I want to participate in previous editions, but 2020 was the first year where I was available (thanks to COVID-19 pandemic).

The eLife staff and organisers, especially Dr Emmy Tsang, did a fabulous job to run the sprint online. Participants used QiqoChat as virtual venue and Slack as instant messaging provider. This was the first time that I used QiqoChat and QiqoChat integration with Zoom meeting + Google Docs solve the problems or difficulties to navigate a table of links.

My challenges during the sprint where time zones and screen space. The event was organised around 3 hours sessions with 1 hour break between sessions. This schedule helped participation from different time zones and promote the wellbeing of participants but time zones still impose challenges because you were “late” for the party. Regarding screen space, I was limited to one screen and had to switch between the web browser, Zoom, Slack and my text editor often.

I contributed with Research References Tracking Tool (R2T2) and Code is Science.

Research References Tracking Tool (R2T2)

R2T2 records the scientific artifacts (for example, articles or data) used when running a Python sript. The main user case is to automate the creation of reference pages for a academic publication.

My main contribution was to migrate the notes from the README.md to Sphinx and publish in Read The Docs.

Code is Science

Code is Science aimed to build a catalogue of ournal policies with regards to code artefacts. Contributors had great discussions that Yo Yehudi covered in http://yo-yehudi.com/science/open-source/community/elife-sprint/2020/09/04/elife-sprint-2020.html. I only joined at the end of the first day and sent a couple of pull requests to improve their website.

Final Words

I’m curious to know how project leaders that participate in 2018 or 2019 edition and 2020 edition compare the in-person vs online event. I think was a great opportunity to explore ideas but missed the social human interaction that is challenge to replicate online.

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