deRSE20 - Call for Contributions

The call for contributions has been closed and we are working on an alternative solution

Dear RSE community!

Due to the current SARS-CoV-2 virus/COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to cancel deRSE20 - 2nd International Conference for Research Software Engineers in Germany, planned to take place from 25-27 August in Jena, Germany. We have made this decision with a heavy heart, but - given the current situation - did not see any other way to eliminate any risks for attendees and organizers.

But there is a silver lining! We are working with other national RSE initiatives to create an alternative mode for facilitating exchange about Research Software Engineering. More…

Important dates

  • Call for contributions open: 03 February 2020
  • Call for workshops closed: 01 April 2020
  • Call for contributions closed: 15 April 2020
  • Decisions: 01 June 2020
  • Final versions of abstracts submitted: 01 July 2020
  • Publication book of abstracts: 15 July 2020

Following the success of the first international Conferences for Research Software Engineers in Germany, deRSE19, the second international Conference for Research Software Engineers, deRSE20 will take place from 25-27 August 2020 at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Our aim is to reflect the diverse community of Research Software Engineers by seeking input from all levels of experience and across a variety of domains, geographic locations, genders, and ethnicities. We invite contributions from the community in four categories: talks, workshops, posters, and for the first time software demos.

If your submission is accepted, at least one of the authors is expected to attend the conference to present. Please note that conference fees apply at registration. We are working towards making bursaries available for community members who lack travel funding.

Conference sessions, themes and types of contribution

deRSE20 has no pre-defined thematic tracks. Instead, sessions will be inductively created by the programme team from the submissions we receive. If your submission addresses a topic that you think is of interest to the community of people involved in research software, we would love to see it submitted!

To get an idea what topics may be suitable for the conference, here is a list of topics from deRSE19:

  • Testing Research Software
  • Sustainable, long-living software
  • Community building
  • Software quality management
  • Institutional RSE communities
  • Software engineering productivity
  • Reproducibility
  • Research data management
  • Research software frameworks
  • Experience with simulation software
  • Towards open research software
  • User interfaces
  • Communication and outreach

We also had workshops on diverse topics such as: Visualizations in Jupyter, cloud development, the role of libraries (the brick and mortar type), agile development, women in Research Software Engineering, refactoring, FAIR software, research software sustainability, running institutional GitLab instances, RSE in the NFDI, requirements for the HIFIS competence cluster at Helmholtz, policies and guidelines for research software, organization of local and regional RSE chapters, project management methods in research software projects, etc.

We invite you to submit abstracts (max. 2,000 characters) for contributions in the following categories:


Accepted talks are organized in topic sessions by the programme team. If your talk is accepted, you will also be notified about the length of your talk.


Workshops are interactive sessions that give attendees the chance to collaborate on a specific topic. They may take different forms, e.g., as hands-on tutorial, discussion and speed-blogging session, hack session, birds-of-a-feather (BoF) events, etc.

If you want to run a panel discussion around a certain topic, please also submit in this category, outlining who you are planning to invite as panelists.

Workshops are 90 minutes long. If you want to run a longer workshop, please leave a comment during subimssion and we will get in touch with you to coordinate this.

Note: We strongly suggest you briefly present your workshop idea in the topic bazaar to find collaborators, join forces and avoid several similar submissions!


Posters are used to present an overview of an idea, a project, a collaboration, etc. Posters must be in portrait orientation and maximally up to A0 size (max. height: 1189mm; max. width: 841mm). Please be prepared to give a very short presentation about the contents of your poster in a “lightning talk”. This will help attendees of the poster session identify the posters and people they want to look at and talk to.

Software demos

For the first time, we invite software demonstrations! These can demonstrate

  • a) (domain-specific) research software you have / your team has developed, or
  • b) software that is helpful in our work as RSEs.

Software demonstrations are done interactively alongside a poster during the poster session - and in this case we expect you to pitch them in a very short (“lightning”) talk to the attendees.

Topic bazaar

We’d like to encourage new collaborations on relevant topics and have therefore set up a topic bazaar.

It is a simple online document where you can search for & find collaborators for a contribution to deRSE20.

Everyone should have a look at the topic bazaar before submission to see if collaboration is sought on their topic. This is especially important for workshop contributions to avoid separate workshops that overlap in topic and will split the group of people interested in the topic over two different sessions.

The topic bazaar can be found at!

Make sure you have a look around the bazaar well before the deadline on 01 April 2020 (or 15 April if you’re not submitting a workshop), so that you have time to collaborate on a contribution.

Should you submit a contribution?

The short answer is: Yes, you should!

We welcome submissions from any and all people who have an interesting take on research software (engineering), including:

  • researchers at any career stage who develop software for research purposes;
  • software developers working in a research context, whatever their job title or field;
  • funders and decision makers paving the way for sustainable research software with grants and other instruments;
  • those interested in advancing the understanding of how best to use and maintain research software, e.g. with respect to openness, reproducibility, sustainability or scalability and performance;
  • people from any organisation providing tools, platforms or services that benefit research software, such as IT infrastructure providers or computing and data centres.

We’re aiming for a well-balanced programme that includes a wide variety of perspectives to reflect the diversity of the RSE community and its activities. Similar conferences in other countries in the past found that social sciences and humanities were under-represented so we’d particularly like to encourage speakers from those areas to apply. We are not just looking for seasoned presenters or people who are already well known. Thus, speakers from under-represented backgrounds and at early career stages are highly encouraged to submit a proposal!

We will select talks and workshops through a single-blind review process, i.e., reviewers will see authors’ names and affiliations. This supports software-related submissions better than a double-blind process.

First-time presenter?

We want you to present! It’s important that the programme includes people who don’t normally publish papers, or give talks at academic conferences. We want your voice to be heard as part of the RSE community. We accept contributions in English or German.

It’s not intimidating! deRSE20 is about learning from each other in a supportive atmosphere. Your perspective is welcome and needed, and presenting will be a great chance to start a wider discussion of issues you care about.

We can help! We can offer mentoring and other support with preparing your presentation. Please email us if you require advice or clarification before making a submission. We aim to offer one-on-one mentoring to help successful applicants prepare their talk, poster or workshop. If you would like a mentor to help you just tick the respective box when submitting your proposal.

How to submit?

The focus of deRSE20 is on community. Therefore, instead of asking you to submit an academic abstract following a specific structure, submissions to deRSE20 are a bit more free form.

Simply fill out the submission form Submissions have been disabled for the moment due to the cancellation of the conference. More…. The form includes a field for the description of your submission (“abstract”) as well as several others, asking you for further details about yourself and your submission. We elicit this information because we would like to know a little about your perspective and your experience. This will help us to get to know the RSE community in Germany better.

We accept contributions in English or German. Like last year, we want to make it possible for attendees who speak either language to have a session in their language to go to for the whole duration of the conference. Note that we may ask you if you can present your talk in the other language if it helps to keep a session monolingual.

Publication and license

All accepted abstracts will be published in a book of abstracts under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. The programme team may invite some submitters after the conference to submit a longer paper for a deRSE20 proceedings issue.


If you have any questions about the conference, or the submission of proposals, please contact the conference organisers at

Submission website

Submissions have been disabled for the moment due to the cancellation of the conference. More…

The text of this call partly reuses modified text from the website for deRSE19 which partly reused modified text from the website for the Third conference of Research Software Engineers under its Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This call is equally licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.