Guiding Data Carpentry

Guidelines and directions for Data Carpentry

This post originally appeared on the Data Carpentry website

Guiding Data Carpentry

We’ve been excited to see the enthusiasm of the community for Data Carpentry workshops and materials, and in the months ahead want to be able to engage all the people who are interested in participating as instructors, developers, hosts, sponsors, learners or anything else. We want to have good infrastructure and guidelines that can help make efforts the most effective.

On November 15, 2014 the Data Carpentry Board had an in-person meeting to assess our current progress and plan for future development and expansion.

The goals of this meeting were to discuss and determine what Data Carpentry will do in the short term, how it will grow and integrate with the community, and how it will coordinate workshops in order to continue to develop and establish a sustainable path going forward.

First, we must give a big thanks to Katy Tackett at Launch Pad in New Orleans for letting us use their meeting space! (We wish we could work there all the time.) Also travel support from SESYNC (NSF DBI-1052875) was invaluable in making this meeting possible.

The decisions made during this meeting are listed below. Many of these decisions still require more details on how they will be implemented, and those details are coming soon as we continue to develop our infrastructure and guidelines, so please continue to stay tuned, ask questions if you have them on our discuss list or via Twitter or contact us.

Data Carpentry Board Meeting

15 November 2014

All members were present

  • Karen Cranston (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center)
  • Hilmar Lapp (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center / Duke University)
  • Aleksandra Pawlik (The Software Sustainability Institute, University of Manchester)
  • Karthik Ram (UC Berkeley, rOpenSci)
  • Tracy Teal (Data Carpentry / BEACON)
  • Ethan White (Utah State Univ/Univ of Florida)
  • Greg Wilson (Software Carpentry Foundation)

Data Carpentry Workshop Content

Decision: For the next six months, Data Carpentry will focus on creating and delivering one core product (with variations for different disciplines, but at the same conceptual level).

Decision: The board agrees that the core product be entry level.

Decision: The board will define a plan for allowing the community to manage our feature backlog in an appropriate way.

Decision: Data Carpentry will implement a public forum in which the community can propose new features and upvote/downvote them, but that it be advisory only, and that the board make a sustained commitment to responding to user input through this forum.

Decision: In the next 8 weeks we will discuss and establish a repository organization and template for lessons.

Decision: The board will establish contribution guidelines for Data Carpentry material that ensure consistent quality, usability for teaching, and continued engagement of contributors. These guidelines will support both the further development of core material and development of new material beyond the core.

Decision: We will solicit lesson contributions and recruit instructors to ensure a diverse, representative pool of contributors.

Workshops and Instructors

Decision: We will aim for 24 workshops in the first calendar year (2015). The board will create a form for workshop requests and will establish criteria for approving.

(Some workshops have already been approved including AAAS, Cornell, SESYNC, Kansas and Stanford and other conversations are ongoing.)

Decision: To ensure long-term sustainability of the project, Data Carpentry will begin charging host institutions a fee for organizing workshops. The board may waive such fees at its discretion.

Decision: The board will come up with a concrete set of criteria to certify Data Carpentry instructors within the next 8 weeks. In the meantime, we will continue to add instructors to the pool at the discretion of the board.

Community, Diversity and Accessibility

Decision: Data Carpentry considers diversity a key value in every aspect of its operations.

Decision: Data Carpentry adopts a Code of Conduct for both its workshops and participation in its community.

Decision: Data Carpentry aspires that its website, workshop events, and lesson materials be accessible to learners with disabilities, and as a minimum, that workshops have their level of accessibility documented.

Administration and Organization

Decision: Data Carpentry will define its mission, governance, and activities independently of, but in coordination with, related efforts.

Decision: Motions approved in board meetings will be made public within one week of meetings.

We have a backlog from previous meetings, but future meetings will comply with this decision.

Decision: The board will pursue signing a Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement (FSA) with NumFOCUS, and the signatories will be Tracy Teal, Ethan White, and Hilmar Lapp

Dialogue & Discussion

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