The Continual Road to an Inclusive Definition and Use of Terms for the US Research Software Engineer Community

ORCID iD iconSandra Gesing2* , Dr. Daniel S. Katz1*, Dr. Lance Parsons*, Dr. Charles Ferenbaugh*, Dr. Ian Cosden*
  1. Presenting author.
  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US.
  3. University of Notre Dame, US.
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    2020-10-22T14:30:00+00:00 2020-10-22T14:45:00+00:00 The Continual Road to an Inclusive Definition and Use of Terms for the US Research Software Engineer Community An important part of building a strong and resilient community is fostering collaboration between individuals with varying backgrounds, expertise, and viewpoints and building a diverse and inclusive community. While the term Research Software Engineering was initially suggested in 2010, there are many different definitions of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) and their community. The US-RSE Association uses “We like an inclusive definition of Research Software Engineers to encompass those who regularly use expertise in programming to advance research.” One of the first community events of the US-RSE Association was a Birds-of-Feather session at PEARC19, where the discussion revealed that participants wanted to learn if the RSE community could include them, and questions arose who would be interested in such an association and community beyond RSEs themselves. These discussions have continued since then and we realized that any definition of RSE will probably change over time. https://sorse.github.io//programme/talks/event-026/ SORSE.enquiries@gmail.com SORSE
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An important part of building a strong and resilient community is fostering collaboration between individuals with varying backgrounds, expertise, and viewpoints and building a diverse and inclusive community. While the term Research Software Engineering was initially suggested in 2010, there are many different definitions of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) and their community. The US-RSE Association uses “We like an inclusive definition of Research Software Engineers to encompass those who regularly use expertise in programming to advance research.” One of the first community events of the US-RSE Association was a Birds-of-Feather session at PEARC19, where the discussion revealed that participants wanted to learn if the RSE community could include them, and questions arose who would be interested in such an association and community beyond RSEs themselves. These discussions have continued since then and we realized that any definition of RSE will probably change over time.

The mission of US-RSE focuses on three areas: 1) Creating a professional community to share knowledge, connections, and resources; 2) Promoting RSEs’ impact on research, highlighting the critical and valuable role RSEs serve; and 3) Providing access to information and material to support individuals and RSE groups. The main focal point is the community and we used it in the name of the association: RSE in US-RSE is “Research Software Engineer”.

In addition to naming the association, creating a code of conduct, and announcing and organizing events, reaching out to the full, diverse community needs a careful selection of terms in order to be inclusive and make everyone feel welcome as part of the community. The talk will go into detail about how we have been approaching inclusivity. Our goal is to actively discuss and raise more and more awareness of the topic to improve inclusivity in our outreach and in the community in general.

Language: English Prerequisites: No prerequisite knowledge is needed. The goal is to exchange ideas about definitions and wording around RSEs to reach a broad inclusivity and to present the activities of US-RSE.

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