uRos – The Use of R in Official Statistics

The first workshop on “use of R in official statistics” was held in 2013, in the Ecological University of Bucharest and organized by the Romanian R team consisting of employees of the national statistical institute of Romania (NIS) as well as from Romanian universities. Until 2017 the conference had 5 successful editions, which were all in Bucharest.
Starting with the 6th edition in 2018, the “conference started to travel” and it took place on the premise of Statistics Netherlands in The Hague.

Forthcoming editions

The organizers plan to organize the conference every second year at NIS and every other year, it shall be organized somewhere else. uRos2020 will be organized in Vienna in May 2020. Therefore the next available possibility for interested organizations to host the conference is 2022. If no suitable host for the even years is found, NIS will host the event.

Duration

The total duration of the conference should be 3 days with a split between the scientific programme and tutorials. Normally one day is reserved for tutorials and 2 (or 1,5) days is reserved for the sessions with keynote and contributed presentations.

Number of participants / Venue

Depending on the constraints of the venue, there should be at least enough space for 100 participants in the main lecture room for plenary sessions such as the keynote talks. Especially, the tutorials need separate rooms, so at least 3 rooms should be available, each of them for about a third of the maximum number of participants. For the contributed sessions, it is advisable to also allow for break-up sessions and therefore beside the main lecture room there should also be at least one extra room available and when possible two.

Pricing / Sponsors

2018 the registration fee was 200 € and it should remain within the same magnitude. This should cover all or most of the external costs for organizing institutions, excluding the cost of the venue and the working hours of the employees.
At the moment it is not foreseen to try to engage private third parties to sponsor the conference and side or social events. However, public funding whether locally from the hosting country/city or internationally, e.g. EU is welcomed.

Scientific and conference board

We have divided the work between two bodies: a scientific board (SB) and a conference board (CB). Both of these groups are currently chaired by Nicoleta Caragea.
The very well established SB is in charge of reviewing the abstracts for presentations and tutorials and preparing a decision on the acceptance/rejection of those. It has also the right of proposal for keynote speakers. Newcomers to the SB are always welcome, so please write to us if you are interested and shortly mention your experience in the area.
The CB is helping the local organizer with all the practical issues of organizing, such as:

  • Writing the call of abstracts, especially setting up a list of topics,
  • communicating with possible keynote speakers,
  • spreading the word/advertising the conference on social media,
  • consulting the local organizers on decisions,
  • organizing the contribution into themed sessions
  • and therefore organizing the programme.

The CB consists of a subset of members from the SB and previous and future organizers.

Side event – unconfUROS

For the first time in 2018, a side event was planned to accompany the uRos. The idea behind the event (similar to http://unconf17.ropensci.org/ for R in general) is to bring together useRs from the area of official statistics to work for two days on concrete projects where enhancements would benefit many institutes or organizations and present the results at the uRos conference.
Similar to the idea of the awesome official statistics software list, this should complement an abstract top-down approach such as the common statistical production architecture with fast bottom-up solutions.

Code of Conduct

Organizers, speakers, registered participants, and sponsors of the uRos conference and/or unconfUROS hackathon, as well as persons or organizations following and discussing the conference through (social) media or internet are required to follow this Code of Conduct. We shall refer to the combined group as ‘participants’ of the uRos conference.

Privacy: participants respect each other’s privacy. In particular it is not allowed to systematically gather information on organizers, speakers and (registered) participants, including but not limited to personal life, professional position, political views, social media outings, open source contributions, or pictures.

Open: participants are open to collaboration, whether it’s on projects, working groups, packages, problems, or otherwise. Participants are receptive to constructive comment and criticism, as the experiences and skill sets of other participants contribute to the whole of our efforts. Participants are accepting of anyone who wishes to take part in their activities, fostering an environment where all can participate and everyone can make a difference.

Respectful: participants are respectful of others, their positions, their skills, their commitments, and their efforts. They are respectful of the volunteer efforts that permeate the R community. In the case of disagreement, participants are courteous in raising their issues. Participants are attentive in communications, whether in person or online, and tactful when approaching differing views. They refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour and speech.

Considerate: participants are considerate of their peers — fellow uRos participants. They are thoughtful when addressing the efforts of others, keeping in mind that oftentimes the labour was completed simply for the good of the community.

In case of violation, participants may be removed from the premises or blocked from communication with the organization. Where relevant, the proper authorities or organizations will be informed of inappropriate behaviour.

References

This code of conduct is based on the R Community Code of Conduct by the R consortium.