(EN) Digital toolbox - A workshop series for beginners

The ongoing digitization of our society impacts all fields of research and most research data is created and analysed in a digital format. Working with digital data encompasses a lot of different tasks like organising, documenting and analysing data but also to make sure that they are stored in a findable and secure way. There are many digital tools available that can help to facilitate these tasks. But which tool fits the given purpose and which factors have to be considered?

In the “digital toolbox” workshop series, each workshop will focus on selected tools or methods and will be introduced to participants at a beginners level without the requirement of previous knowledge.

The workshops are not based on each other and can be taken independently. All workshops are free of charge.

  • comic by xkcd.

    Spreadsheets, they are loved, hated and for many people indispensable. In science, they are a widely used way to organize data. However, there are many pitfalls and the uncritical handling of spreadsheets can lead to sever misunderstandings or problems, as the loss of data about more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases in the UK shows. But also without such severe consequences, spreadsheets can be a source of annoyance if files that were created by others or just in a different software are not understandable or usable without additional effort. In this workshop, we will introduce possible pitfalls as well as some good practice guidelines when creating spreadsheets.

    Please register here!

  • Are you working with data organised in spreadsheets? Do you usually spend more time on data cleansing and data quality improvements than on data analysis? And do you want a powerful tool, that is free of charge and runs on every computer, including your local PC? If your answer to these questions is YES, then you should consider registering for this hands-on workshop.

    OpenRefine is a powerful, free and open source tool to clean, correct, codify, and extend your tabular data. Using OpenRefine will save you hours of manual editing and correcting of data.

    In this hands-on workshop we will first introduce what OpenRefine is and what it can do. You will learn how to import your data into OpenRefine, how to find and correct errors in your data, how to transform data, and how to save and export your cleaned data from OpenRefine. Finally, we will point you to additional resources to continue learning after the workshop.

    Participating in this workshop does not require any prior installation nor knowledge of OpenRefine. Please register here!

  • In 1804 the should-be famous engineer Richard Trevithick invented something to connect us all – the very first steam locomotive, a train. While being a huge success at the time, little did he know that he was laying the foundation of a much bigger phenomenon: I am, of course, talking about the hype train. But while back then the train was used to connect people, this train is – and with rising COVID numbers, this aspect is probably more important than ever – all about isolation.

    In this workshop, we are going to put both of these aspects together: we will discuss the hype around Docker that appeared over the past years and why its isolation features are so important to its success.

    With practical exercises and some sprinkles of theoretical background you will develop an understanding of how Docker (and container engines in general) works, what it is used for and how you can take advantage of it. You will learn how to use the Docker tools to run and manage containers, or release your own software to the public. Then, if time permits, we will deep-dive into higher-level tools to orchestrate collections of containers across the boundaries of a single physical machine.

    So, if that sounds interesting to you, hop on the hype train (register) or it will leave the station without you! All aboard!

  • Data security may only be a part of IT security, but even when concentrating of the security of data, the list of available tools is at least as long as the list of possible dangers.

    Within this introductory workshop we will discuss topics starting from social engineering, come to possibly good and not so good password practices, will mention just a bit of the concept of public/private key encryption, before you will learn how to use some of the more common tools using these methods, including password managers, gpg, VPN, email signatures and encryption, and last but not least, your browser.

    Due to the large zoo of tools, it is likely that we do not cover your tools of choice. However, we will focus on those aspects that are similar across different products.

    Please register here!

  • If you have ever written a paper or worked with research data, some of the following problems may sound familiar to you: You have accidentally overwritten something and would like to get it back from an earlier version of your file(s). You find yourself looking through a bunch of older versions wondering what exactly has changed between your current version and the older version. You and a colleague work on the same files and have to e-mail different versions back and forth. You and a colleague use a shared folder (e.g. Nextcloud, Dropbox) but made edits at the same time, so some of your edits are lost.

    These unpleasant situations can be avoided by using git. As a version control system, git helps you to keep track of your work and to collaborate with other people. It enables easy documentation, the saving and retrieving of earlier versions and working with others in the same directory or even on the same file at the same time.

    Git has been mostly used for software development so far - but this should not put off researchers from non-technical disciplines. The git basics are easy to learn and easy to apply. In this two-session course, you are introduced to the fundamental features of git and learn how to use it in your daily work.

    Please register here!

  • Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the course cannot take place as planned.

  • Code is everywhere - and scientific research is no exception to this. Whether it is in the STEM disciplines or, more recently, in the growing field of digital humanities or computational social science. Programming allows researchers to handle large amounts of digital data with ease, to automate tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming or even impossible to do, and to explore new approaches. Programming skills allow you to be more autonomous of pre-existing tools and to tailor your workflow to your own needs.

    Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages, not only but also, for scientific programming. Part of its popularity comes from the fact that is rather easy to learn. But most importantly, you can use Python for a broad range of tasks, e.g. text analysis, sequence analysis, mathematical computations, machine learning, visualization, and many more.

    This two-session workshop gives you a practical introduction to the basics of Python. It requires no prior experience with programming. Our goal is to show you some potentials of Python, help you get started with programming and prepare you to take your next steps (on your own or in another course).

    Please register here!

  • The Bash is an interactive interface to your operating systems. Instead of controlling your computer by clicking and dragging with the mouse you type in commands on the so-called command line or shell, and the Bash is the most wide-spread. Controlling your computer by hammering at the keyboard looks really old-fashioned and uncomfortable at the first glance. But if you are working with a lot of data or writing your own computer programs using the command line is a very efficient instrument. After some training period you will not want to miss it anymore. With its root in the Unix operating system, the bash is nowadays available for Linux, Mac OS as well as Microsoft Windows. In this workshop we will learn how to use Bash for: managing files and folders, starting and controlling programs, searching for files and within files, manipulating the content of files, and creating Bash scripts for repeating tasks.

    Please register here!

  • A wide variety of natural and social phenomena can be modelled as networks, that is as a structure of nodes — representing objects — and edges connecting the nodes — representing relations between the objects. The mathematical analysis of these networks allows conclusions to be drawn about the modelled phenomena.

    Gephi is a popular and easy-to-use open-source tool for working with networks. In this workshop we will use Gephi to create example networks from data, visualise these networks and perform various analyses on them.

    Please register here!

  • In this session we introduce the main components of a typical HPC cluster and how to use such clusters to perform computations. We will give an overview on the different ways to parallelize a given task and will make you familiar with the Linux command line. In the hands-on part you will submit your first computations (jobs) to the cluster and hopefully enjoy their results.

    Requirements: 1. FSU account (needs to be specified at the registration page), and 2. no fear of linux and the command line.

    Please register here!

  • Within this workshop we will spend only very little time on what LaTeX can do, but will instead concentrate on you actually making your first steps. Depending on pace, this includes the basics of what is needed for a scientific paper or thesis: structuring your document, basic formatting, symbols, math, images, figures and citations. This workshop alone will likely not be enough for a beginner to use LaTeX in the future without further help or reference, but it should give a good start and includes pointers where to turn for example use.

    Please register here!

(EN) Research Data Management – Make your data count!

  • Due to the increasing digitization and datafication in all fields of research, the proper management of research data becomes increasingly important.

    You spent months on collecting samples and measurements in the field or in the lab? You explored, analysed and interpreted this data and finally published your findings in a scientific journal? Well, then it is time to think about your data again and what to do with it now. Or are you just starting your PhD or your postdoc project and want to make sure not to overlook anything when it comes to obtaining and documenting your measurements?

    According to the guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice your results should be replicable and repeatable. Are you aware of the concept of FAIR data, that is mentioned in the research data policies of many funders, institutions and journals? FAIR means that data are findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable. To ensure this, your data should be well documented, securely stored and available for later reuse. Publishing your research data through a dedicated data journal or repository may help you on this and may also get you an additional publication and further citations.

    Data publishing and long-term preservation are just two aspects of research data management. This workshop shall help you in determining your data management requirements, no matter at which stage of the project you are. In addition, the course provides you with practical guidance on how to organize, structure, describe and publish your data in order to comply with good scientific practice.

    Topics of the course:

    • Basic definitions in research data management and the data life cycle
    • Data management plans (DMP)
    • Documentation, data organisation, metadata
    • Storage and back-up
    • Archiving
    • Publication and re-use of research data
    • Legal aspects

    This will be an online course using Moodle and live video conferences. We will provide self-study material prior to the two sessions and we expect participants to study the material beforehand and to fulfil the tasks given. During the live sessions there will be exercises, group work, discussions and some presentations.

    Please register here

(DE) git für Anfänger

  • Der Umgang mit verschiedenen Versionen von Dateien ist zunehmend eine wichtige Aufgabe im Forschungsdatenmanagement. Wichtig ist, den Überblick zu behalten und die eigene Arbeit zuverlässig zu sichern, sowohl bei kollaborativer als auch bei eigenständiger Tätigkeit. Diese Aufgabe kann schnell kompliziert werden, doch Versionsverwaltungssoftware wie Git bietet dafür Lösungen. Git hilft bei der täglichen Arbeit mit Daten Ordnung zu halten, ältere Arbeitsstände zu sichern und Änderungen an Dateien im Laufe der Zeit nachvollziehbar zu dokumentieren.

    Da Git bisher vor allem in der Softwareentwicklung eingesetzt und oft mithilfe der Kommandozeile verwendet wird, mag es auf Forschende aus nicht-technischen Fächern zunächst ungewohnt wirken. Sie sollten sich aber nicht abschrecken lassen. Die Grundprinzipien von Git sind leicht nachvollziehbar und schon mit wenigen erlernten Handgriffen können Sie Ihre Arbeitsabläufe besser und einfacher dokumentieren. Der beste Weg diese Handgriffe einzuüben, ist die praktische Anwendung. Daher werden Sie in unserem Workshop vor allem selbst tätig werden. Sie lernen die Grundlagen der Arbeit mit Git und GitLab kennen und üben sie anhand praktischer Beispiele ein. Wir zeigen Ihnen den Umgang mit Git auf der Kommandozeile und mit einem graphischen Client. Vorwissen ist dafür nicht nötig, lediglich einige Vorbereitungsschritte (Details siehe hier).