artistic title image

Meet Sam the Scientist!


Sam’s Story

person raising their hand

Hey, I am Sam Scientist and I work at a Helmholtz Centre somewhere in Germany. I’ll appear time and again and take you with me into the world of HIFIS. You will hear about the offers that I have had the pleasure of getting to know and use. Be curious, there is a lot of useful stuff in HIFIS.

How it all begins

Right now I’m really happy as I got the funding confirmation for a new project! I want to start this soon with some colleagues who work both at another Helmholtz Centre as well as at an external institution. At lunch, I found a flyer at the cafeteria, describing some of the tools and services HIFIS is offering. I wonder how HIFIS can help me and what those Helmholtz Federated IT Services are all about. The claim is to offer Services for Science — Collaboration made easy: that sounds promising.

login screen for Helmholtz AAI

Well, let’s take a look at hifis.netHIFIS for Scientists sounds promising, it describes the life cycle of research. Tools to set up and plan a project are all offered at the Helmholtz Cloud Portal, let’s see what is there. As it is early on in the project, we need to discuss a lot with everybody involved — and possibly even would like to easily contact and involve experts from other groups. The chat service Mattermost seems like a good idea: We could also share small documents, pictures, links and everything else that is going to come up during the work. I decide to try it for the communication in the project group.

So, how does this work?

login screen for Helmholtz AAI

I log in via the Helmholtz AAI, which is easy, as I only need my institutional account information and there is this tutorial to walk me through every step. That will be helpful to get the others on board, I guess, so I’ll send everyone the link.

But I wonder how I get those not affiliated with Helmholtz on board? I write a mail to the HIFIS support and the answer is really pleasing : Sometimes the login via the home organization does not work yet, especially for non-Helmholtz partners. But there are the social providers Google, Orcid or GitHub for this case, so it will be for them as easy as for me, phew!

Just what we need: Software Development in Teams

As Research Software Engineering will be an important part of our project, we need a place to store it, work collaboratively on the code and ensure version control. I have been working with GitLabs before, so it’s really cool to find a version suited for us Helmholtz-based scientists here: the Helmholtz Codebase. Again, the Helmholtz AAI provides the access and the account is set up automatically right after the log in. Awesome, what a relief for our group to have only one login for several services at once. I spend some time to set up the project as I know already a bit about the software.

But there is an open tab left from when I read the service description: HIFIS Events, which lists past events and contains a link to the upcoming courses. There, a course covering Foundations of Research Software Publication is offered in November. That’s perfect for getting everyone in the project on the same page with this tool!

I’m really excited to have such a good setup for the project within a few minutes. Next time, I’ll tell you how we go on from here!

Text by Lisa Klaffki, Illustrations by Lorna Schütte.