Category: Uncategorized

The Turing Way Book Dash at TU Delft

Authors: Tanya Yankelevich, Esther Plomp, Julien Colomb

Five people sitting around a large table, focusing on the work that is taking place on their laptops.

The Turing Way is a ‘lightly opinionated’ online guide to reproducible, inclusive and ethical data science. The book is collaboratively written using GitHub and Jupyter book, an effort led by Kirstie Whitaker and Malvika Sharan

As part of the Turing Way, we co-organised an event at the TU Delft library! This event was part of the Book Dash that is organised twice a year. During each Book Dash people come together to work on the Turing Way and add their contributions within a short period (hence why it is called a ‘dash’). A large part of the event takes place online, and this year there were in-person hubs in London at the Alan Turing Institute and at TU Delft. 

A group of people standing in a room, having a chat over lunch.

At the TU Delft hub we had several people joining from the Dutch eScienceCenter as well as more internationally based that were interested in Open Hardware to work together to include a more extensive guide on Open Hardware in The Turing Way! 

What did we work on? 

  • Tanya worked on including artists and civil society/community-based organisations as alternative ways for Open Communication of research process and research results. The subsections serve to start the conversation and would benefit from feedback of others with experience with both, artists and civil society/communities, and cases to demonstrate different perspectives.
  • Azin got familiar with the Turing Way and had discussions with Barbara on ‘Code linting’.
  • Lena worked on Research Data Repositories and Data Feminism (together with Maya, Gigi, Esther), and engaging the general public with art.
  • Esther helped Luisa adding a contribution on how to link GitLab and Zenodo, and supported Tanya with her issue and Pull Request, and worked together with Lena on the Research Data Repositories draft. She also reviewed some Pull Requests (#2356), and was able to merge a Pull Request on removing duplication of information in the Open Data and Sensitive Data parts of the book (thanks to Johanna – another online attendee!). 
  • Carlos worked together with Anne and Alejandro (who joined online) on The Environmental Impact of Digital Research.
  • The Open Hardware team (Angela, Santosh, Julien, Sacha, Moritz, Julieta, Nico) worked together on a new Open Source Hardware chapter, including two illustrations.
  • Barbara and Pablo worked on an old Pull Request on error message management. During the Dash Barbara commented that “This more than anything makes me believe in Git”, as the pull request was already three years old!
  • Julien also worked on data versioning via an old PR, and closed issue 310.
An impression of the room, which was a large room with multiple tables placed together to facilitate discussions. On one of the tables is a group focussing on their individual work on laptop screens. At another table there is a group having a discussion.

The Delft Hubbers demonstrated a fiery passion about Climate Change in our break discussions (yes, we did try to use the breaks to focus on things other than Book Dash work) and took extra care to follow the Code of Conduct. We promised to work with the university, such that all future events organised at the TU Delft will avoid the use of disposable cups and Nescafé machines… We had a great time getting to know each other in an informal atmosphere and testing the bounds of our biases through jokes. The hub attracted a bunch of Open Science enthusiasts from both the Netherlands and Germany, which inevitably led to a lot of collaboration ideas for the future and future-focused discussions.

The thematic focus (on Open Hardware) was a real success, allowing for specific networking and concrete collaborative work. Informal conversations did naturally sprout the idea to have another thematic focus for a future Book Dash in the Netherlands. A proposed theme is Citizen Science and a guide on “how to Citizen Science”. Thoughts? 

Organisation of Research Services department, TU Delft Library

The Research Services department of the Library has recently expanded to four teams, and is appointing some new heads. I have added short descriptions of core tasks for each team

Yan Wang has been appointed Head of Research Data and Software. This team has responsibility for

Madeleine de Smaele is the Interim Director of 4TU.ResearchData. (We are currently in the recruitment process for a full-time Director) This team has responsibility for the

We are currently interviewing for a Coordinator of Research Infrastructure. The responsibilities of this team include

We will shortly be recruiting for a Head of Scholarly Communications and Publication. The responsibilities of this team include

Update on vacancies: 4TU.ResearchData Director and Coordinator Research Infrastructure

For the position of Coordinator of Research Infrastructure we have received 42 applications. The first round interview process will start in May and end in early June. We have started being in touch with some applicants, and will continue to do this for the next week or so.

For the position of 4TU.ResearchData Director, we have received 16 applications. The first round interviews will take place in 1 and 2 June. We will be in touch with applicants in the week of 15 May.

Looking back at 2022: RDS achievements

Authors: Maribel Barrera, Ashley Cryan, Cecile van Heukelom, Paula Martinez Lavanchy, Iulia Popescu, Madeleine de Smaele, Maaike Smit, Marta Teperek, Carlos Utrilla Guerrero, Yan Wang, Aleksandra Wilczynska

The year 2022 has been one of great achievements for the RDS team. Apart from the running existing services and business-as-usual activities, here’s an outline of our successes and accomplishments over the last year:

Research Data Services


  • Development of a course on working with personal research data 
  • Successful business case for addressing the demand of RDM101 courses for PhD candidates
  • Lookout for 2023:
    • Development of a course on data/software management for supervisors
    • Hiring three more trainers to address the demand for RDM101 training and to further work on the implementation of the Vision for Training

People responsible for this work:

  • Paula Martinez Lavanchy – leading these activities
  • Carlos Utrilla Guerrero (and before Eirini Zormpa) and Maribel Barrera, who helped develop and deliver the training vision
  • Course on Personal Data Human subjects in research Nicolas Dintzner (Data steward – Faculty Technology, Management and Policy), Santosh Ilamparuthi (Data steward – Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science), Cath Cotton (Policy Adviser TU Delft – Office Executive Board), Ingeborg Ahlers (Privacy Officer – TU Delft – Privacy Team), all participants in the feedback pilot (incl. data stewards, researchers and support staff)All those that contributed in preparing the training business case: Faculty data stewards, central graduate school, Marta Teperek, Alastair Dunning, Anke Versteeg, Nicole Will, Emmy Tsang, Pim van Schöll  from TU Delft Library and Meta Keijzer-de Ruijter and Julie Beardsell from ICT innovation. 
  • Maaike Smit who helped organise training and workshops

Data stewardship

  • Further growth of the data stewards team (a few faculties are now in the process of hiring/considering hiring) additional data stewards!
  • Successful adoption of the new ‘Data Steward’ UFO profile
  • Lookout for 2023:
    • Development of disciplinary guidelines for data management
    • Hiring a central data steward to strengthen the capacity of central coordination and support for data stewardship

People responsible for this work:

  • Yan Wang, leading these activities
  • Lies de Coninck, who helped with the assessment and implementation of the Data Steward UFO profile
  • Anke Versteeg, Amber Leeuwenburg, Andre Groenhof, Chantal Brokerhof, Myrthe van Nus, who helped with adopting the Data Steward UFO profile
  • Data Stewards Heather Andrews, Yasemin Turkilmas-van der Velden, Lora Armstrong, Nicolas Dintzner, Jeff Love, Esther Plomp, Diana Popa, Santosh Ilamparuthi, Arthur Newton, who contributed to the TUD Data Stewards task overview, part of the Data UFO profile assessment

Digital Competence Centre (DCC)

  • Development of a sustainability plan for the DCC based on successful engagement in long-term projects with the research community
  • Publication of the interactive DCC Dashboard which displays the DCC projects completed since 2019 and those currently in progress
  • Completion of 37 hands-on data and software projects with over 3350 hours spent in collaboration with research groups across at TU Delft
  • Tremendous success (and additional funding!) for the TU Delft R café initiative!
  • Lookout for 2023:
    • Evaluation of the UFO profiles of data managers and RSEs
    • Hiring two additional data managers to increase the capacity of the DCC

People responsible for this work:

  • Ashley Cryan and Aleksandra Wilczynska, who led data management aspects of the DCC team work and also initiated and are leading the R café initiative
  • Julie Beardsell, Coordinator of the DCC team and leading the development of sustainability plans
  • Other DCC members: Niket Agrawal,  Manuel Garcia Alvarez, Meta Keijzer-de Ruijter, Maurits Kok, Dennis Palagin, Jose Urra Llanusa 

Research Support and the TU Delft Digital Strategy

TU Delft is currently writing a digital strategy for 2024-30. It’s due to be approved in spring 2023, but work is already beginning on its implementation. 

The strategy has eight sections

  1. Students and Education 
  2. Research and Innovation
  3. People and Community
  4. Campus and Service Provision
  5. Digital Skills 
  6. Data
  7. Security & Privacy
  8. Digital Infrastructure in the workplace

Along with Robert van Bremeen from ICT, I am responsible for the research and innovation section. We have identified four key areas where the university’s approach to digital can have a positive impact on the practice of research. These followed discussions with those writing the Digital Strategy and workshops involving researchers and others from the university.

The workshops identified some broad themes. For example, the crucial importance of a trusted infrastructure for sharing data; the amount of unstructured data that was created by researchers but never reused; the importance of good training, and staff support; and the growing importance of software.

The themes were summarised as the four areas shown in the image below.

Four areas for Research and Innovation in the draft Digital Strategy
Four areas for Research and Innovation in the draft Digital Strategy

We then took this a step further, and identified both existing initiatives and new ones that are needed in order to turn the four areas into specific, actionable projects. 

Current and new initiatives in the research domain
Current and new initiatives in the research domain

This draft diagram still needs some work, but it gives an indication of these initiatives.

This discussion is of course just the first step. The work now begins of turning these fine ideas into practice. 
For this step, ICT and the Library will appoint a kwartiermaker to explore how this list of initiatives can be turned into a programme with specific projects under it.  The programme currently has the name of the Research Hub.

The kwartiermaker will be discussing these initiatives with researchers, support staff, managers and others across the university – in conversations, meetings, workshops and other forums. The goal is to have a defined programme for the Research Hub, including a list of projects by mid 2023. 

Another year over!

Author: Esther Plomp

tl;dr: Overview of 2022 for Esther Plomp.

For 2021 I wrote an extensive overview of what I did, which I found a helpful process. I also got motived to do this again thanks to Yanina and Danielle with their overviews. So here we go again!


Last January I started with my activities for the PhD duration team at the Faculty of Applied Science. The team consists of myself, Ans van Schaik (Faculty Graduate School) and Pascale Daran-Lapujade (director of the Faculty Graduate School). This year we set up a procedure to reduce the PhD duration (PhD-in-4 policy). This procedure required a communication plan (for which I gave an interview – as in house expert on taking too long on your PhD..).

I also gave a crash course on Open Science, together with Emmy Tsang (then Community Engagement manager at the TU Delft Library). This included a presentation on Open Data (made in R Markdown!).

The participants of the AIMOS discussion session wrote up their experiences in a blogpost ‘Moving Open Science forward at the institutional/departmental level’. I repeated this session in March for the Open Science Barcamp, which is summarized in another blog.

And I presented on Sharing Mortuary Data!


Last February I started with mentoring activities for the Carpentries and Open Life Science. This year I continued this for Open Life Science and co-mentored Adarsh Kalikadien, together with Maurits Kok from the Digital Competence Center. The Faculty of Applied Sciences continues to provide PhD candidates that participate in Open Life Science with credits (read more on intranet). Later this year I had the honour of co-mentoring Saranjeet Kaur Bhogal, with Fotis Psomopoulos.

In February we also started with our Faculty’s Publication Task Force. We had two main goals:

  1. What journals does our Faculty publish in?
  2. Raising awareness of (sustainable) Open Access options that researchers at our Faculty have

As part of my efforts for The Turing Way, more information on data articles was added. Many Turing Way Community members contributed, as well as Lora Armstrong (Data Steward CitG).


I was invited by the 3mE PhD council to talk about Metrics in academia, based on a blog that I co-wrote with Emmy Tsang and Antonio Schettino in 2021. In July I co-organised a similar session on Metrics in Academia with the Applied Science Faculty’s PhD council.

I had the honour to be one of the panellists of ‘The Turing Way Fireside Chat: Emergent Roles in Research Infrastructure & Technology’.


This month marked the official start of our Faculty’s Open Science Team! This team consists of at least a member of each of the Faculty’s departments (Flore Kruiswijk, Jean Marc Daran, Xuehang Wang, Sebastian Weingärtner, Sabrina Meindlhumer, Anton Akhmerov). This year we discussed how to increase awareness of Open Science and how to determine the focus of every department is for the upcoming years. Each of the team members engaged their department in a discussion or send out a survey in the months October-December. We will discuss the results with the Faculty management team in the next year.

I gave a lightening talk on The Turing Way for the Collaborations Workshop 2022 (save the date for 2023!).

Together with Zafer Öztürk, I discussed my experiences as a Data Steward for the Essentials 4 Data course. I wrote a summary of my Data Steward Journey in a blogpost.

I was on the FAIR data podcast and discussed several things FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) that I’m involved in with Rory Macneil. (Can recommend to reach out to Rory if you have anything FAIR to discuss!)

Together with Chris Stantis we organised an IsoArcH workshop on responsible data sharing.

Thanks to Valerie Aurora, I was able to follow the Ally Skills train-the-trainer workshop.


Our article on Taking the TU Delft Carpentries Workshops Online was published and was one of the most popular articles that month in JeSLIB!

I was involved in several presentations:


In June I gave a repeat of the Data Management Plan workshop for the DCC Spring Training Days.

I was involved as a Subject Matter Expert for Open Data for TOPS (Transform to Open Science).

And I presented the ‘Open Science Buffet’ poster for the Faculty of Applied Sciences Science Day.

Next to this, I followed a training on change management. This was very helpful in my efforts for the Open Science & PhD duration teams.


For the TU Delft BioDay I presented two posters on Open Science (the Buffet one mentioned earlier and one on the Open Life Science programme).

I was one of the panellist of the IFLA open data infrastructures panel organised by Emmy Tsang.

July was the month where I started to record the things that I am saying no to (since tracking things motivates me to actually work on them!). I also managed to get corona in August..


In August I learned how to use Quarto by making the materials of the RDM 101 course available online. I’m organising a faculty version of this course in March 2023.

I co-organised one of the workshops by The Turing Way for Carpentry Con: Git Good: Using GitHub for Collaboration in Open Open Source Communities. Many thanks to Anne Lee Steele, Hari Sood and Sophia Batchelor for this collaboration!

Together with Yan Wang we presented on Data Stewardship at TU Delft for a swissuniversities webinar.


Co-organised a session on FAIR discussions for the VU Open Science Festival, for which we’re currently writing a checklist article.

I described my career trajectory in an interview for the NWO magazine.

Presented a poster on the Removing Barriers to Reproducible Research work I did with Emma Karoune for the BABAO 2022 conference.

September was a busy article month:

Also, my husband defended his thesis!


I attended the NWO BioPhysics conference, where I coordinated the data/software workshopPlan ahead: practical tools to make your data and software more FAIR’. We gave a similar workshop in May for NWOlife2022.

I gave an invited talk on Open Science for the Tools, Practices and Systems programme. The presentation was based on the blogpost : ‘Open Science should not be a hobby‘ (written in May).


I again participated in AcWriMo (write 500 words each day for blogs, articles etc, based on the novel writing month NaNoWriMo). (I learned from last year and did not include a drawing each day…)

I gave my first in person Ally Skills training for the How are You week. There may be more of that in the upcoming years!

November is also the month for the second The Turing Way Book Dash. This (currently mostly online) event takes place over four days in May and November. Participants contribute to The Turing Way during the event and join social discussions related to data science. I reviewed a lot of pull requests! Thanks to my AcWriMo I managed to write something on Cultural Change, Code Review for journals, updating the RDM checklist, and Open Peer Review.

I also met the team of Young Science in Transition in person for the first time!

I followed a course on policy writing. This has hopefully improved my writing.

The article I co-wrote with Emma Karoune, on Removing Barriers to Reproducible Research in Archaeology, got recommended!

I also finalised my review activities for swissuniversitiesOpen Research Data calls.

November was again the busiest month for researcher requests (n=27), comparable to last year (n=26). In total I had 196 requests this year, a bit lower compared to 2021 (n=211), but more than 2020 (n = 186).

And I managed to figure out how Mastodon works (follow me


I used December to recover from November, and round up some things for the year. This included updating the Open Science Support Website, which now has over 72 posts that answer frequently asked questions by researchers. Not all posts are finalised, and feedback is always welcome.

I’d also like to add a couple of things that I didn’t manage this year: Work on some of the older research data management survey data, reach inbox zero, write an article based on one of my thesis chapters, and get through my to-do list. I guess we have 2023 for that!

Happy New Year!

PS: check this Mastodon thread for my favourite books of 2022.

French novelist Emmanuel Carrère on the perils of digital preservation.

In his novel The Kingdom (link to WorldCat), which concerns the origin of the Biblical Gospels, French novelist Emmanuel Carrère makes a sudden detour into the difficulties of digital preservation:

In the more than twenty years that I’ve been using computers, everything I’ve written by hand is still in my possession, for example the notebooks I base this book on, while without exception everything I typed directly onto the screen has disappeared.

Of course, I made all kinds of backups, and backups of my backups, just like everyone said I should, but only the ones I printed out on paper have survived.

The others were saved on floppy disks, sticks, external drives—all supposedly much safer but ultimately obsolete one after the next—and are now as inaccessible as the tapes we listened to in our youth.

(page 56)

On the benefits of open data in astronomy

In his book, The Universe: A Biography, Paul Murdin charts the history of the universe via the astronomers that have explored and researchers it.

In this quote here (page 55 of the book), he explains how the open data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) helped nourish a community of researchers who could understand more about the development of the universe.

The data from the SDSS is accumulated in a publicly accessible archive as soon as it is obtained and processed. It is unusual for data from an astronomical project to be made public so quickly-usually the project personnel have rights to withhold the data for a period of time as a scientific reward for putting in the effort to bring the project to fruition.

The logic was that the project was funded by public sources of money and its data should be publicly available, and that it would be best for science if anyone could bring ideas to the archive to investigate its scientific possibilities. The project personnel knew so much about the instrument’s capabilities and its programme, it was argued, that they had an advantage over the rest of the community of astronomers and ought to be able to make killer discoveries even if they were competing in the same time frame as everyone else.

It has been a community effort to master the data produced by the SDSS and use it so successfully to map the structure of the Universe as it is known today.