At rOpenSci's virtual HQ we're busy planning out several exciting projects for the coming year thanks to the generous 180k grant from Sloan. In the interest of maintaining transparency with our community here are additional details of what we hope to accomplish and how we'll measure our successes. We have also posted a full copy of our proposal over at figshare.
a) Focus on identifying shortcomings, strengthening our core products, and working to link existing tools through interoperable data structures and visualization routines. To facilitate this process, we will convene two hackathons, one with the core development team and advisors and a second with a wider group of rOpenSci collaborators.
b) Build a general purpose toolkit that will allow researchers in any community to develop their own tool to access domain specific data. This toolkit will help researchers access data sources available via application programming interfaces (API) and other, less-structured data.
c) Conduct outreach and training workshops at universities and conferences. In addition to increasing awareness of our tools and growing our user base, we will also use this opportunity to assess challenges and barriers to data science in closely related fields. As part of this process, we will interact with scientists outside of Ecology and Evolution to identify disciplines that could immediately benefit from more data science tools and training.
d) Explore long-term sustainability models for the project. This first year of funding will allow us to explore options, including strengthening the position of the organization to solicit similar funding from foundations and also pursue grants through National Science Foundation’s Office of CyberInfrastructure and related agencies while continuing to operate within the confines of academic institutions. We will also explore establishing a non-profit, either independently or in collaboration with a university.
You can read more in our full grant proposal. We welcome any comments and suggestions.