This event has finished.

eLife Innovation Sprint 2018

In May 2018, we challenged technologists, developers and researchers to bring cutting-edge technology to open research.

Dates: May 10-11, 2018

Times: 9am—5:30pm each day

Location: Cambridge Junction (J3), Cambridge, UK

The eLife Innovation Sprint was a two-day challenge for developers, designers, technologists and researchers to collaboratively prototype new innovations that bring cutting-edge technology to open research communication.

Through the eLife Innovation Initiative, we have been working to improve research transparency and accessibility, and accelerate discovery in the life sciences, by developing open-source technologies in collaboration with the wider community. We have heard many excellent ideas for transforming how the latest science is shared, built upon and recognised, and we wanted to create a space that would help translate these ideas into action.

Our mission is to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science.

By bringing ideators, creators and users together for the Innovation Sprint, we provided space, time and access to diverse skill sets for the community to develop their ideas into prototypes and forge new collaborations.

The eLife Innovation Sprint was an Associate Event to the Mozilla Global Sprint, an annual global collaborative event to hack and build projects for a healthy internet, which also took place on May 10 and 11. To aid virtual contributions, projects were posted to the Mozilla Global Sprint repository under the tag 'eLifeSprint'. Please note that the eLife Sprint was not an in-person site for the Mozilla Global Sprint: eLife Sprint participants attending in-person worked exclusively on projects within the scope of the eLife Sprint.

Your continued virtual contributions are welcome. We encourage you to:

Please continue reading for information about:

  • Participants
  • Open innovation
  • Accessibility and inclusivity
  • Partners and associates
  • Sponsors and supporters
  • Code of conduct


We welcomed the following participants:

  • Achintya Rao, Doctoral Student (UWE Bristol) / Science Communicator (CERN)
  • Ale Abdo, Researcher, LISIS - INRA - France
  • Alessandra Dillenburg, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh
  • Alex Freeman, Executive Director, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge
  • Alf Eaton, Developer, Atypon
  • Andre Marques-Smith, Postdoctoral Researcher, University College London
  • Andreea Hrincu, UX Designer, Springer Nature
  • Anisha Keshavan, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
  • Asura Enkhbayar, Data Scientist/PhD Student, Simon Fraser University
  • Barney Walker, PhD Student, Imperial College London
  • Bruno Vieira, Bioinformatics Scientist, Repositive
  • Charlotte Whicher, Product Manager, Repositive
  • Chris Wilkinson, Senior Systems Developer, eLife
  • Ciro Santilli, Software Engineer, ARM Ltd
  • Daniel Ecer, Data Scientist, eLife
  • Daniel Nüst, Researcher, Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster // Opening Reproducible Research ( project
  • Daniela Saderi, PhD Candidate, Oregon Health and Science University
  • Danielle Robinson, PhD, Co-Executive Director, Code for Science and Society
  • David Moulton, Senior Front-End Developer, eLife
  • Delwen Franzen, Researcher in Neurobiology, Previously the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Emanuil Tolev, Software Development Consultant, Cottage Labs LLP
  • Fábio Madeira, PhD in Computational Biology, Software Engineer, EMBL-EBI
  • Felix Z. Hoffmann, PhD Student, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Giorgio Sironi, Software Engineer - Tools & Infrastructure, eLife
  • Giuliano Maciocci, Head of Product, eLife
  • Hannah Drury, Product Manager, eLife
  • Ian Bruno, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
  • Ian Mulvany, Head of Product Innovation, SAGE Publishing
  • Ivo Jimenez, PhD candidate, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Jen Spencer, Software Engineer, YLD
  • Joe Hand, Co-Executive Director, Code for Science and Society
  • Joe McArthur, Assistant Director of the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC
  • Joe Wass, Principal R&D Engineer, Crossref
  • Julien Colomb, PhD in Biology, open science advocate
  • Kai Segrud, Software Engineer, Addgene
  • Kirstie Whitaker, Research Fellow, Alan Turing Institute
  • Luc Henry, Scientific Advisor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Marek Kultys, Information Designer, Science Practice
  • Margaret Gold, Project Officer, European Citizen Science Association
  • Mark Patterson, Executive Director, eLife
  • Martin John Hadley, Technical Lead (Interactive Data Network), University of Oxford
  • Mattias Bjornmalm, Research Fellow, Imperial College London
  • Melissa Harrison, Head of Production Operations, eLife
  • Min Ragan-Kelley, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simula Research Laboratory
  • Nathan Lisgo, Senior Drupal Developer, eLife
  • Nick Duffield, UX Designer, eLife
  • Nuno Job, CEO, YLD
  • Oarabile Mudongo, Product Developer, Consultant
  • Paul Shannon, Head of Technology, eLife
  • Peter Murray-Rust, Founder, ContentMine
  • Richard Smith, Scientist and Software Developer, ScienceFair
  • Rosario Villajos, UX Designer, Springer Nature
  • Ross Mounce, Open Access Grants Manager, Arcadia Fund
  • Ruben Paz, Backend Developer, Repositive
  • Sam Galson, Software Engineer, YLD
  • Sam Walton, Partnerships Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Sara Bosshart, Open Access Publisher, IWA Publishing
  • Sean Wiseman, Senior Developer, eLife
  • Simon Hazelwood-Smith, Researcher and Designer, Science Practice
  • Vilim Štih, PhD Student, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
  • Vincent Tunru, Software Engineer, Flockademic
  • Vot Z, Development Team Lead, Cambridge University Press

The event was facilitated by:

  • Jenny Molloy, Director, Biomakespace
  • Naomi Penfold, Innovation Officer, eLife
  • Tony Naggs, Biomakespace

Participation was by application. Applications were assessed independently by at least two organisers and final decisions were agreed collectively, with a focus on including a diversity of skills, experiences and interests that align with the eLife mission and innovation objectives. Priority was given to applicants who demonstrated a clear interest in driving open science communication and/or leveraging the power of the web and new technologies for research and discovery.

group working on notepad and laptop
Source: Pixabay.

Open innovation

We expected Sprint participants to work openly and make resulting outputs openly available immediately or as soon as is feasible, using open source licenses for code and software and permissive licenses (CC-BY or CC-0) for other content.

Accessibility and inclusivity

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free, welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone to contribute and work effectively, and to enjoy doing so!

We thank Addgene, Arcadia Fund and Mozilla Foundation for supporting 20 participants with travel and accommodation costs. Support was prioritised to applicants who were not able to find support from their institution or other means.

The venue was ground floor, with flat access, and accessible facilities. The closest accommodation was directly next to the venue (Travelodge; and accessible rooms are available.

Lunch and daytime refreshments were provided and dietary requirements were catered for.

All participants were required to leave the venue at 5:30pm each day. Any participants wishing to continue to work were free to do so in a separate location.

The event was conducted and all communications and outputs were produced in English.

Partners and associates

This event was delivered in partnership with Biomakespace (community partner) and Cambridge Junction (venue partner) and in association with the Mozilla Global Sprint.

With special thanks to eLife staff for coordination before and during the event, in particular:

  • Giorgio Sironi, Software Engineer — Tools & Infrastructure, eLife
  • Giuliano Maciocci, Head of Product, eLife
  • Kora Korzec, Community Manager, eLife
  • Lena Dowdall, Office and Human Resources Manager, eLife
  • Mark Patterson, Executive Director, eLife
  • Miranda Nye, Marketing Assistant, eLife
  • Nick Duffield, User Experience Designer
  • Paul Shannon, Head of Technology, eLife
  • Rowena Maskell, Marketing Manager, eLife
  • Stuart King, Associate Features Editor, eLife
Biomakespace logo
Cambridge Junction logo
Mozilla Global Sprint

Sponsors and supporters

We thank Addgene, the non-profit plasmid repository, and Arcadia, the charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and Mozilla Foundation for their contributions towards travel support.

Computing and storage at the event was supported by the AWS Cloud Credits for Research program.

Addgene logo
Arcadia Fund logo
Powered by AWS

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all attendees, including organisers, of the eLife Innovation Sprint, both online and in-person regarding activities in relation to the event. This code also details steps for reporting unacceptable behaviour. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

The organisers of the eLife Innovation Sprint are committed to providing a harassment-free work environment for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or work experience. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any professional event. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without any pecuniary reimbursement at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or work experience.
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Uninvited physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

Anything that makes someone feel uncomfortable could be deemed harassment. For more information about what constitutes harassment and examples, please refer to OpenCon’s Code of Conduct in Brief and the Gathering for Open Source Hardware’s examples of behaviour.


Participants (including organisers) asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event organisers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the event without pecuniary reimbursement.

Event organisers may take action to redress anything designed to disrupt, or with the clear impact of disrupting, the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues (including online) and event-related social activities.


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. Harassment and other Code of Conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

You can make a report either personally or anonymously. All reports will be handled with discretion.

Anonymous report

You can make an anonymous report here [update, October 3 2018: this form is now closed].

We can't follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Personal report

You can make a personal report directly in person or by email to elife-sprint-support [at] protonmail [dot] com (account now closed).

The following staff members will take the lead in receiving and acting on reports during the event:

  • David Moulton, eLife
  • Hannah Drury, eLife

Before the event, reports are being monitored by Naomi Penfold, eLife (Sprint coordinator). Jenny Molloy and Tony Nagg (both representing Biomakespace) will join David, Hannah and Naomi to assist with enforcement of the code of conduct during the event.

When taking a personal report, our staff will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we'll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we'll handle it respectfully, and you can bring someone to support you. You won't be asked to confront anyone and all reports will be handled with discretion.

In your report, please do your best to include:

  • Your contact information
  • Identifying information (e.g. names, nicknames, pseudonyms) of the participant who has violated the Code of Conduct
  • The behaviour that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behaviour (if different than the time the report was made)
  • If possible, where the Code of Conduct violation happened
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident
  • If you believe the incident is ongoing, please let us know.
  • If there is a publicly available record (e.g. mailing list record), please include a link
  • Any additional helpful information

After you file a report, a representative will contact you personally to review the incident, follow up with any additional questions and make a decision as to how to respond. If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

Local services

Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement or local support services, to provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

Useful contact information:

  • In the event of an emergency, dial 999 for police, fire or ambulance services. Where possible, please consult with venue staff or event organisers first.
  • Dial 101 for assistance with non-emergency situations by Cambridgeshire police.
  • The nearest sexual assault referral centre is in Peterborough. Dial 0800 193 5434 for its helpline (open 24 hours).
  • Panther Taxis serve the local area. Book online or dial 01223 715715.


For questions about codes of conduct, we recommend you check this Code of Conduct FAQ.


This Code of Conduct is based on the example anti-harassment policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers (CC0) and the OpenCon 2017 Code of Conduct (CC-BY OpenCon organisers, SPARC and Right to Research Coalition).