Workshop on Research Objects (RO2018)

Workshop on Research Objects (RO2018)

Workshop at IEEE eScience 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands (29 October 2018)

Twitter hashtags: #eScience2018 #ResearchObject - some also used #RO2018

The RO2018 workshop was on 29 Oct 2018 as part [archived 2019-05-10] of IEEE eScience 2018 [archived 2019-05-10] in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Registration fees [archived 2019-05-10] applied.


  • Next workshop is RO2019 at eScience 2019, San Diego, US
  • RO2018 workshop took place 29 Oct 2018
  • RO2018 proceedings announced


Date: 29 Oct 2018, 08:30 - 17:30 CEST Place: Room Matterhorn I, IEEE eScience 2018 [archived 2019-05-10], Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre; Amsterdam

Program included:

For details on the accepted talks and keynotes, see the full schedule for RO2018. See also the general IEEE eScience program [archived 2019-05-10] for the rest of the conference that followed the workshop.


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.

At RO2018 we explored recent advancements in Research Objects and publishing of research data.


The workshop was a mix of presentation sessions and “unconferencing” sessions including:

  • Keynotes and invited talks
  • Presentations selected from short article submissions and extended abstracts
  • Demonstrations and (informal) poster session
  • Lightning talks for those last minute presenters and hot topics
  • Break-out sessions

A variety of topics include, but not limited to:

  • What is a Research Object?
  • Software, tools and data related to Research Objects
  • 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 contributions

RO2018 welcomed submissions in a variety of forms covering the above topics: Short articles for more developed research, software or data contributions, Abstracts for oral communication and Poster and demo abstracts. For further details, see the Guide for submitting to RO2018 and accepted contributions.

Workshop participants were encouraged to separately propose lighting talks, breakout sessions and ideas for discussion points for the unconference session of the workshop.

RO2018 encouraged open peer review, and recommended that reviewers are named and attributed; however reviewers could be anonymous if so desired. Peer reviews will be published on Zenodo.

For any questions, email the RO2018 Workshop Organizers at

Proposals for Breakout Sessions

The workshop was an opportunity to run breakout sessions. We encouraged breakout proposals and discussion ideas to be added in this shared document.

Lightning talks, posters and demo

RO2018 welcomed short lightning talks (1 slide, ~5 minutes), to introduce a single topic, e.g. an ongoing activity, research idea, collaboration opportunity, software or method.

Suggestions for a lightning talk was added at any point to the shared document. Attendees did not need to be an invited presenter to propose a lightning talk, but the lightning talks are not part of the conference proceeding.

An informal demo and poster session will take place during the afternoon. Accepted poster and demo presenters should also give a lightning talk to introduce their work.


These RO2018 submission dates are separate from the eScience call [archived 2019-05-10] deadlines for the General eScience plenary sessions that follow the RO2018 workshop.

Extended early-bird deadline!

15 July 2018  Oral communication abstracts and articles due

31 July 2018  Poster and demo abstracts due

31 Aug 2018  Notification of acceptance

13 Sep 2018  IEEE eScience 2018 early-bird registration deadline

17 Sep 2018  IEEE Conference Proceedings camera-ready deadline

01 Oct 2018  Deadline for updating RO2018 proceedings

29 Oct 2018  RO2018 workshop at IEEE eScience 2018

Travel bursary

Travel bursaries were provided for 7 of the accepted speakers at RO2018. The bursary was kindly sponsored by BioExcel (Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research; H2020 grant 675728).


Please contact if you applied for a travel bursary; please include details of your costs. The RO2018 workshop chairs decided eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Student applicants and applicants from countries on the DAC list were 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)



The RO2018 workshop is grateful for sponsorship from BioExcel, which is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement 675728.

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).