ARL’s partner in SHARE, the Center for Open Science (COS), participated in Open Source Day, Code-a-Thon for Humanity at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) in Houston, Texas, on October 21, 2016. The code-a-thon was geared towards beginners and focused on contributing to a humanitarian project using open source software. The COS team consisted of three full-time developers from COS, two mentors provided by GHC, and approximately 30 conference participants.
Three projects were presented to the COS code-a-thon team to choose from: (1) developing harvesters that will continuously add metadata from specific, new sources to the SHARE database describing research outputs; (2) fleshing out requirements and building wireframes for OSF Repositories, a future feature of the Open Science Framework (OSF); and (3) creating an application of the coder’s choice with either the SHARE or OSF application programming interface (API). Around eight women chose to work on adding metadata harvesters to SHARE and a few others worked with the SHARE API.
An organization can register to become a SHARE metadata source by filling out a registration form that is linked on the SHARE homepage. Once the organization has submitted its information, COS creates a ticket for the source. COS uses the tickets to keep track of the status of sources internally. A user who has submitted a source registration form can check on its status by going to their profile page.
For the Grace Hopper code-a-thon, COS moved tickets to GitHub so they would be easily accessible by the participants. Led by a COS developer, the SHARE participants cloned the SHARE repository, installed the requirements, chose a ticket, and created a metadata harvester for a source that follows the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) guidelines. A few women chose to program together since their laptops weren’t equipped to install all of the project’s requirements. The women on the team did an amazing job of working together and contributing back to the project. In just a few hours, six new metadata sources had been added to the SHARE development server:
- Boatwright Memorial Library, University of Richmond
- Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM)
- Montana State University
- Texas Tech University Library
- Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC)
- Utah State University’s institutional repository, DigitalCommons@USU
The code-a-thon was an engaging way to encourage open source development and spread knowledge about SHARE. The majority of the women who contributed to SHARE at the code-a-thon also achieved the personal milestone of submitting their first pull request on GitHub. Jini, one of the participants, works in a lab that is having trouble finding all of their related, published work; members of the lab aren’t properly registering their publications through the organization and Jini thinks the SHARE search interface will help the lab find missing records. The code-a-thon resulted in six new SHARE sources—whose metadata will be available on the live SHARE site soon—but more importantly, a few new SHARE enthusiasts.