Workshop on Research Objects (RO2018)

Workshop at IEEE eScience 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018-10-29)

Twitter hashtags: #eScience2018 #ResearchObject (singular!)


Scholarly Communication has evolved significantly in recent years, with an increasing focus on Open Research, FAIR data sharing and community-developed open source methods. The concepts of authorship and citation are changing, as researchers are increasingly reusing and evolving common software tools and datasets. Yet with a growing amount of cloud compute power and open platforms available, reproducibility of computational analyses becomes more challenging, and not yet commonly included in peer review. While recent advances in scientific workflows and provenance capture systems have improved on this situation, a question remains on how to publish, archive, explore and understand digital research outputs, as academic authors and publishers remain focused on PDFs and the occasional CSV file, with the Web and Open Research often left to “best effort” rather than being the expected norm.

A number of community initiatives have begun to explore how to package various multi-part research outcomes with their context, how to handle distributed and living content and how to port and safely exchange these “Research Objects” between platform and between researchers.

One such approach is which has proposed a way to package and describe research outputs, data, methods, workflows, provenance and structured metadata, reusing existing Web standards and formats. Research Objects, and Research Object-like approaches have gathered pace across:

However, many challenges remain as to how to increase Research Object uptake with data providers, researchers, infrastructures, publishers and other stakeholders; credit and tracking metrics; develop supporting tooling; building effective community efforts and the relationship of rich metadata manifests with emerging container platforms.

In this workshop we will explore recent advancements in Research Objects and publishing of research data. The workshop aims to be a mix of:

  • Two 30 minute invited talks
  • 15 minute presentations by accepted speakers
  • Short demos
  • 5 minute lightning talks, organized at the workshop, allow participants to demo or present technology and topics that may come up during discussions in the break-out sessions.
  • 1-2 hour break-out sessions to further build relationships across scientific domains and RO practitioners and “do it”. The break-out topics will be canvased before the meeting.

The RO2018 workshop is on 2018-10-29 as part of IEEE eScience 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Registration fees applies.

Call for papers

RO2018 welcome submissions of academic abstracts (1-2 pages), data/software articles (3-6 pages) and short research articles (4-8 pages) on cross-cutting case studies or specific research on topics including, but not limited to:

  • What is a Research Object?
  • Research Object FAIR metrics
  • Research Object platforms, infrastructure and tools
  • Research Object lifecycles: creation, curation, and large-scale automated processing; search, exploration and visualization; evolution, derivation and provenance publication, archiving and curation
  • Research Object access control and secure exchange
  • Research Object exploitation: supporting reproducibility; comparison summarization of research results; analytics; scientific processing and discovery
  • Executable Research Objects; containers and workflows
  • Research Object modelling: Data Archive packaging and formats; Rich metadata of research data and software
  • Credit, attribution and peer review: citation and attribution of research data and software; Annotation and peer review, social impact metrics
  • Handling Big Data in Research Objects
  • Techniques for Distributed data and metadata publication (e.g. nanopublication, IPFS)
  • Driving adoption within current scholarly communications ecosystem
  • Case studies and examples of exploiting Research Objects for scientific discovery
  • Research Objects in applications
  • Alignments with community efforts
  • Cross-domain Research Objects

Submitted abstracts and articles can be in a range of open formats (e.g. HTML, ePub) and are particularly encouraged to be submitted in a FAIR research data packing format. Guidance is provided for those who do not have their own platform they wish to showcase.

Accepted abstracts and articles will be included in the IEEE eScience 2018 proceedings; a secondary PDF formatted to the IEEE guidelines may be included in the submission, or we will generate one from the HTML.

Unless indicated otherwise, the submitted preprint is assumed to be licensed CC-BY 4.0, and will, upon acceptance, be made available as Green Open Access on the RO2018 website with DOI links to the Zenodo record and (eventually) the published IEEE proceeding article.

It is a requirement that at least one author of each accepted submission attends the RO2018 workshop and is registered for the IEEE eScience 2018 conference. Registration fees applies.

Submissions should be uploaded to the RO Zenodo community and submitted for review in EasyChair.
For further details, see the Guide for submitting to RO2018.

RO2018 encourages open peer review, and recommend that reviewers are named and attributed; however reviewers may be anonymous if so desired. Reviewers are welcome to publish their reviews to Zenodo using the same guidelines as the research articles.

For any questions, email the RO2018 Workshop Organizers at


Note that RO2018 submission dates are separate from the eScience call deadlines for the General eScience plenary sessions that follow the RO2018 workshop. Below are the RO2018 deadlines:

2018-07-01 RO2018 Abstracts (optional) and Extended Abstracts due

2018-07-15 RO2018 Research articles and Software/Data articles due

2018-08-31 RO2018 Notification of acceptance

2018-08-31 IEEE eScience 2018 early-bird registration deadline

2018-10-29 RO2018 workshop at IEEE eScience 2018

Travel bursary

Kindly sponsored by BioExcel (Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research), a travel bursary is available for accepted speakers at RO2018 to help with the cost of attending the workshop.

Eligible costs may include:

Please contact if you would like to apply for a travel bursary; please include details of your predicted costs before you book. The RO2018 workshop chairs will decide eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Student applicants and applicants from countries on the DAC list will be prioritised.

Programme Committee

  • David De Roure (University of Oxford and Alan Turing Institute, UK)
  • Ian Foster (The University of Chicago, USA)
  • Oscar Corcho (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)
  • José Manuel Gómez Pérez (, Spain)
  • Raja Mazumder (BioComputeObjects, George Washington University, USA)
  • Kristian Garza (DataCite)
  • Helen M Glaves (British Geological Survey, UK)
  • Eoghan Ó Carragáin (Univ College Cork, Ireland)
  • Paolo Manghi (Open AIRE and CNR, Pisa Italy)
  • Daniel Garijo (University of Southern California, USA)
  • Anita de Waard (Elsevier)
  • Gareth Harvey (Mendeley Data)
  • Naomi Penfold (eLife)
  • Ronald Siebes (DANS, NL)
  • Dimitris Koureas (Naturalis, NL)

Workshop Organisers

For any questions, email the Workshop Organizers at

Carole Goble (The University of Manchester, UK)

Carole Goble heads along with her team in the eScience Lab at the University of Manchester, whose mission is to disseminate knowledge about research objects, their concept and their adoption. She has spent 25 years working in e-Science on computational workflows, reproducible science, open sharing, and knowledge and metadata management in a range of disciplines. She co-established the workflow repository and the for systems biology asset sharing. She is the co-lead of the interoperability platform for ELIXIR, the EU Research Infrastructure for Life Sciences,  Head of Node of ELIXIR-UK and co-founder of the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute. She has keynoted twice for IEEE e-Science (2005, 2012). In 2008 she was honoured by Microsoft Jim Gray award for outstanding contributions to eScience.

Raul Palma (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland)

Raul Palma is the semantic technologies coordinator in the network services division at Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC). He has more than twelve years of experience in research and development in different areas related to Artificial Intelligence, such as knowledge representation, discovery and reasoning, Open and Linked Data, and the application of Semantic technologies in different domains. He has been involved in the development of the Research Object model and supporting technologies since their conception, and has been devoted to their dissemination, adoption and exploitation in different domains. He has led the development team of the research object management platform ROHub (, built entirely around the research object model and inspired by sustainable software management principles. Currently, he is leading PSNC activities in EVER-EST project, where Research Objects and ROHub have been used as the cornerstone to build a Virtual Research Environment for Earth Sciences. An ACM member and former MAE-AECI scholarship holder, Raul holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (cum laude) and regularly publishes and reviews for top scientific conferences and journals in the area.

Stian Soiland-Reyes (The University of Manchester, UK; Apache Software Foundation)

Stian Soiland-Reyes is a senior Research Software Engineer, working at the eScience Lab in the University of Manchester since 2006. His research and development interests are in reproducible Open Science by applying semantic technologies and distributed computing. He is a persistent advocate of Open Access, data sharing and improving practices of academic publishing. As a keen open source developer and Foundation Member of Apache Software Foundation, he has a key role in development of the workflow system Apache Taverna (incubating) and Common Workflow Language (he is on the CWL leadership team), as well as contributing to Linked Data initiatives such as Commons RDF, Jena and JSON-LD. Stian was a key participant in the Wf4Ever project, where he co-led specifications for preserving and publishing workflow-based Research Objects. He is a co-author of the W3C PROV-O standard for provenance as well as the PAV provenance ontology, he has contributed to the W3C Web Annotation Data Model, ORCID and OAI-ORE.  Stian currently work with the BioExcel Centre of Excellence with attention to interoperable workflows in HPC and HTC environments for biomolecular simulation and modelling.

Cees Hof (Data Archiving and Networked Services DANS-KNAW, The Netherlands)

Cees Hof is working as a cross-disciplinary project acquisition manager at Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Cees is involved in the EOSCpilot project and responsible for the DANS interaction with the life science community at both the national as well as the international level. Before working for DANS he was the coordinator of the European Network for Biodiversity Information (ENBI) and thereafter, for more than 10 years, coordinator of the Dutch branch of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) hosted by the University of Amsterdam. Within GBIF Cees chaired the European GBIF nodes from 2011 till 2013 and consolidated a network of Dutch biodiversity data-nodes. He was also involved in the establishment of the (national) LifeWatch initiative. His experience covers all phases of the data life cycle, with a special interest in metadate, geodata, and the pros and cons of data re-use in science and society. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Dutch Geo-Informatics Infrastructure and involved in citizen science (palaeontological) research. Cees has a background in aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology (MSc, cum laude) and moved into animal systematics, taxonomy, palaeontology and geochemistry for his PhD research at the University of Amsterdam and postdoctoral research in the UK (Bristol).