Post written by: Jessica Meyerson, FCoP Co-Investigator and Project Director

Outreach and Advocacy
International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC)

We initially announced acceptance of FCoP cohort proposals to IDCC and Code4Lib 2020 in our November – October 2019 update and both events took place in the last two months. IDCC took place in February. Fernando Rios, (University of Arizona) presented a paper entitled “Sustaining Software Preservation Efforts Through Use and Communities of Practice,” coauthored with UA colleagues Monique Lassere, Judd Ruggill, and Ken McAllister. The paper was presented in the IDCC 2020 “Software preservation” track alongside papers by Morane Gruenpeter and Rafael Gieschke. The “Software preservation” track ran parallel to “Data Management Plans” and “Collaboration on digital curation” program tracks.Tracy Popp (University of Illinois), Lauren Work (University of Virginia), Monique Lassere (University of Arizona), Jessica Meyerson and Ethan Gates (both members of the Yale-based EaaSI team) tailored the design of the workshop sessions and exercises to the needs and practices of research and software data curators. Popp, Work, and Gates facilitated the “Preparation and Process: Software Preservation and Emulation for Research Data” workshop day-of with over participants ranging from research software engineers to data workflows specialists to time-based media conservators to metadata librarians.

Code4Lib

In March, a slightly different grouping of FCoP cohort members presented a panel at Code4Lib 2020 entitled “Cohort4Lib.” In the collaborative talk, representatives with diverse job descriptions from across the FCoP cohort discuss what “software preservation” meant to them at the start of their projects and how working in a cohort has challenged and inspired those meanings to evolve. Team members explore the role of communication and community in preserving software and code, how overlapping library code cohorts can support each other, ways of integrating long-term thinking about software maintenance into existing cultural heritage ecosystems, and future opportunities for cohorts as a model of maintaining library technology work. You can find the panelists slides on OSF and watch the recorded panel presentation below:

2020 Capstone Meeting, or Towards an Action Agenda for Software Preservation and Emulation

We are currently bringing our work with the cohort to a close – or at least, wrapping up our work for the FCoP project period. As noted in our December 2019 – January 2020 FCoP Update, there are three pillars of FCoP project outcomes including: 1) a story of change in capacity over time; 2) tools and templates for immediate use by individual practitioners and cultural heritage organizations; and 3) a forward-looking action agenda highlighting areas where the field needs to focus additional attention. While the project team continues to piece together the cohort members’ capacity-building stories to form a collective narrative, and compile templates that other organizations can use to kickstart programmatic software preservation – the cohort’s attention is turning towards the action agenda. Originally planned as an in-person meeting, the 2020 FCoP Capstone Meeting will be a virtual workshop — bringing together the cohort members, Dr. Acker (FCoP Project Researcher), and the project staff to refine our vision for the future and call to action for funders, organizations, and practitioners. Stay tuned for a full report in the next issue of Stacktrace.