DISCo 2019 Workshops

Delegates attending DISCo 2019 will be able to attend one half-day workshop and one full day workshop. The list of provisional available workshops is provided below, final workshop details and descriptions will be confirmed w/c 10 June 2019.

Half-day Workshops

Taking place on Wednesday 10 July, 1pm – 5pm

Delegates will be able to choose one workshop from those listed below to attend on the afternoon of 10 July. When registering, delegates will need to specify their first and second choice of workshop.

Workshop Title and SummaryWorkshop LeaderTarget Group/
Skill level
An introduction to the Peer Review Process

Through mostly interactive exercises, this half-day discusses a range of approaches to Peer Review suitable for different situations (from workshops, to conferences, to peer-reviewed conferences, to journals, and more).

The first part of this workshop is to help participants understand what is expected from peer reviewing, and how the information put into a review is used by organisers later in the process, and how these vary for different venues and types of submission.

The second part covers approaches to reading, approaches to structuring a review, dos and don’ts, and how to judge and make appropriate recommendations.

Dr Max Wilson
Associate Professor
School of Computer Science
University of Nottingham
For those just starting or in the first 2 years of the PhD.
Learn to use LaTeX

LaTex is often suggested as a template for paper and journal article submissions. It affords many benefits over Microsoft Word such as not having to wrestle with style-files or finding that the document structure breaks down when it gets too long. Furthermore, LaTex will automatically update your table of contents, your reference list as you add citations, and is compatible with popular packages such as Mendeley. It can even be configured to incorporate a to-do list as you write, compiling your notes into a list at the start of your document and adding comments in the margin. However, for a novice, using a Latex document can look like a daunting prospect. Nevertheless, once you learn how it works, it's simple to use.

The purpose of this workshop is to show you how to use LaTex to find and upload the right template, write, and publish your work. We will also show you how to insert images, create tables, and other useful utilities. It will also cover Overleaf, which is an online Latex editor, as well as stand-alone software such as TexMaker or MikTex.

Sarah Hewitt
PhD Researcher
Web Science Institute
University of Southampton
To enable complete beginners to use LaTex with confidence, and to allow people that have previously used it to have another practice with support, and also to provide opportunities to learn a few extra tips and tricks, and perhaps even try a different piece of software. People who are familiar with LaTex but lack confidence are especially welcome.
Mixed Reality Storytelling

Most digital entertainment takes place on a screen where the object of the medium is to transport the audience into another world to allow for an escape. Mixed reality experiences are unique in their application of digital information over the real world, not allowing for escapism in the same way as the story being told has to take place in the world of the audience. This offers opportunities for different stories to be told in different ways, or for stories to be integrated into other mixed reality experiences in interesting ways.

This workshop will look at storytelling and mixed reality technology separately, before looking at how the two can combine. Workshop attendees will then have an opportunity to design their own mixed reality storytelling experiences and present them to the rest of the workshop.

Joe Strickland
PhD Researcher
Mixed Reality Lab & Horizon CDT
University of Nottingham
Participants need no previous knowledge to take part, as all foundational knowledge will be explained and materials will be supplied at the start of the session. This workshop is for those wanting to find out more about augmented or mixed reality technology and how storytelling might find its way into this technology, as well as other new and developing technologies.
Starting a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation on Ethereum Blockchain as a step in decentralising Scholarly Communications

Decentralised ledgers (blockchains) have transformed ways in which people organise and transact online. Whilst a lot of people are now familiar with crypto-currencies as the main blockchain use case, not so many are aware of DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) and how these can be used to create blockchain-powered governance structures. This informative and hands-on workshop will start with a detailed overview of the Ethereum blockchain, and how it can solve issues with trust and transparency in social groups, providing real world examples.

The second part of the workshop will focus on DAOs and how they can be applied to peer review, paper rankings and tamper-proof voting on issues within organisations, such as research groups approving final submissions and changes made to academic papers with multiple authors. The final part of the workshop will be a hands-on session, in which the attendees will model a virtual academic paper, setting up a voting system for changes made to this document. At the end of the workshop, attendees will discuss and provide feedback on this solution, and outline any potential identified issues.

Mike Hoffman
PhD Researcher
Web Science Institute
University of Southampton
Participants should be comfortable installing packages via the command-line interface.

Full-day workshops

Taking place on Thursday 11 July for a full day

Delegates will be able to choose one workshop from those listed below to attend on 11 July. When registering, delegates will need to specify their first and second choice of workshop.

Workshop Title and Summary Workshop LeaderTarget Group/
Skill Level
An Introduction to Twine: An Intuitive Game-Making Tool

This workshop will provide an introduction to Twine, a free and open source tool for creating text-based games. The ability to design a game without the need for graphics - combined with a very shallow learning curve in general - makes Twine an ideal tool for those new to making games, as well as more established developers working on their own or producing prototypes for more ambitious games. Another advantage is that the software places no constraints on the type of work it can be used to create, lending itself just as well to generative poetry or complex strategy games as it does to traditional interactive narratives.

Damon L. Wakes:
Author of Ten Little
Face of Glass,
Girth Loinhammer’s Most
Exponential Adventure,
and Lovely Pleasant Teatime
The workshop is intended for beginners. Previous experience with Twine is not necessary, but basic computer literacy will be essential.
(Digital) Space/Place/Identity within Interdisciplinary Research

This workshop seeks to investigate the concepts of "space", "place" and "identity": How they are being defined, used, contested and reappropriated through digital technology.

Physical and virtual spaces and places are almost exclusively mediated through technology owned by governmental and commercial entities -- often in a very centralised, private manner (Moss, 2002; Von Tunzelmann 2003). This proliferation of privately-owned public space/place (Németh et al., 2011) creates a scarcity of spaces free of implicit and/or explicit control: This circumstance leads to an un-critical perpetuation of structures that underlie those governmental and commercial forces. Lived experiences are at risk to be homogenised and normalised. This is increasingly relevant in a technologically driven world: As demonstrated by Conway's law which states that the social structures of companies often result in software that echoes them (MacCormack et al., 2012). By proxy how we organise and interact in existing places may influence how we create new ones.

Identity is the way we view ourselves and how others view us (Giddens, 1991). It is reflexive, fluid and deeply situated in social and physical contexts, shaping our behaviour, relationships, and opportunities in the world and more (Falk, 2009). Therefore, identity is fundamental to the way we experience, understand and interact with the world around us; the places we inhabit and the people with which we inhabit them. Examining the embedded imbalance of existing structures, their impact on the identity of inhabitants, and exploring the affordances of technology from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives, provides a way to understand potential futures for these three vital aspects of lived experience.

Velvet Spors,
Luke Skarth-Hayley,
Harriet 'Alfie' Cameron
and Hanne Wagner
PhD Researchers
Horizon CDT
University of Nottingham
Everybody, regardless of academic background or technological skill level, is welcome to attend this workshop.
Project Managing your PhD

This is a workshop for PhD students to help them develop and manage their own research project. PhD students often come from a career in education, and may never have had to manage their own time or work, let alone the budget or risks involved in an extended research project. This workshop was designed to fill this skills gap. It takes students through all relevant stages of a project planning process, from planning a timeline, to breaking the overall project down into doable tasks. It also covers how to manage finances, and how to prepare and what to do in case something goes wrong.

Each session of the workshop includes a short lecture and activities. All exercises are based on personal experience, and students will work on their own projects during exercises. At the end of the workshop, they will have planned their own project so that they can continue managing it

Dr Gefion Thuermer
Senior Research Assistant
Electronics & Computer
Science Department
Web & Internet Science
Research Group
University of Southampton.
This workshop is best suited to students who are about to or have just started their own research project, but will be valuable for all students that have to manage their own research. No prior skills are needed.
Science Jam: Hands-On Learning, Rapid Research and Networking

Game jams and hackathons have emerged as high-intensity meetups where small groups of individuals engage in rapid prototyping and development. The concept of a Science Jam builds directly on these promises, realigning the process to focus on “rapid research prototyping”. This can arguably be great for participants who are rather new to the field to get hands-on learning experience, but it can also be great for more experienced researchers, since it offers room to try out some “unusual ideas” that otherwise may never have turned into an actual little project, or simply to peek beyond the limits of one’s day-to-day topics.

This concept allows for the exploration of novel ideas without much prior investment in a formally relaxed, yet highly focused setting. The idea of the Science Jam is to apply this principle to the rapid conceptualisation, execution, and analysis of small-scale experiments,studies, or other pieces of research that can provide exploratory evidence or function as a pilot or prestudy for larger follow-ups.

The first iteration of the Science Jam took place during CHI 2018 attracting more than 60 participants. A second iteration took place with a group of 60 Centre of Digital Technology students at the Open Lab, Newcastle University. The reception in the two iterations was extremely positive, and feedback indicated great value of this model in conveying practical experience with research methods, as well as for networking, especially among PhD students and early career researchers.

Raghda Zahran,
Adam Parnaby
and Jan Smeddinck,
Open Lab
Newcastle University
This workshop is targeted to early and experienced researchers who would like to engage within
groups to develop ideas into early outcomes.