Research issues that could be better solved with open data? Absolutely: the Swiss Open Research Data Hackathon organized by SWITCH, FORS and DaSCH is accepting registrations until this weekend at https://www.ord-hackathon.ch/
From my 2015 blog post, there are a couple of points which in my mind apply well as goalposts in a hackathon with a research context:
1. [share and] know the data you will talk about well;
2. prepare a path through the tools, but, as much as possible, let participants discover it for themselves;
3. set small attainable goals to keep up the motivation
In the small team working with me on challenge 5, I would say we accomplished this by:
(1) Sharing real world data and mock (explanatory) schemata early on, with guidance of a field expert (Damien Jeannerat) who gave a compelling pitch which made an attempt to bring the idea down to Earth (through sketches, metaphors), while clearly being focused on trying to help scientists do a better job of publishing their (meta)data.
(2) Tools that are being used in the field were suggested by never imposed, we kept a spirit of openness alive in letting everyone contribute something from their toolbox and best practices. Throughout the hackathon we were discovering a lot of interesting examples and posting them to our Slack channel. This made it easier to identify the „niche“ for our project, and orient it in the research ecosystem.
(3) We set up a fully shared GitHub repository and used the Project planning board to write down a bunch of small and (relatively : ) attainable goals at the start of the project. Every hour counts in a hackathon, and clarifying roles and responsibilities is important no matter what size your team is. This helps to offset the disadvantages of working at a physical and disciplinary distance.
After reading this, I hope you’re intrigued and want to find out more about our hack! You’re welcome to explore the code and try the demo here:
Big thanks to all participants, my team mates & the organizers for another inspiring dive into the world of research data dissemination, the Impacts of which I’m looking forward to seeing in the days ahead Please check out all the teams results being posted to the official repository and hashtag, or this inofficial dribdat page where I’ll try to mirror them all:
While we wait to see all results from the hackathon posted online, here are a couple more of my impressions of this week’s event: