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A to W

This A to W* guide is inspired by and adopted from that of the CarpentryCon. We hope that this will address most of your queries regarding your participation – but please don’t hesitate to contact us if something is missing!

* We leave it to you to come up with entries for X, Y and Z!


The Sprint venue, the Junction, has flat floor access and accessible facilities. Some areas are fitted with an induction loop while others have infrared hearing assistance. There are dedicated disabled parking bays in front of the venue.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have concerns regarding your accessibility needs.


For participants with accommodation support, we’ve block-booked rooms at the Travelodge Cambridge Central, which is a 5-min walk away from the event venue. Another nearby hotel is the Ibis next to the Cambridge Station, which is a 10-min walk away from the Junction.


There is a designated lunch break (12.30–1.30pm) each day. That being said, participants are free to eat and drink whenever they prefer and snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the day. We understand that the event can be intense, so we encourage all participants to take breaks regularly and whenever needed, to look away from your laptops, take a walk, drink water, and clear your minds! There is a designated quiet room if you need some moments of silence on your own.


Each day of the Sprint will open with a light breakfast, which include coffee, tea and pastries with vegan and gluten-free choices.


Cambridge, UK is the home of eLife and the Sprint, but also that of the world-renowned University of Cambridge and the beautiful River Cam. We will organise a walking tour of the city in the evening on Day 1 of the Sprint, so you’ll have the chance to do some sightseeing in this historic city.



We support babywearing! Unfortunately, we cannot provide a creche this time, but we are happy for you to bring a babysitter and your baby/young child with you to the Sprint. We have a quiet room available (with a fridge and a kettle), and your babysitter and baby are of course welcome to use the more comfortable sofas and chairs in the foyer area. A microwave is available for your use on request. We are also happy to discuss financial support for childcare during the Sprint, please contact us if this is of interest to you.

If you are planning to bring your child(ren) to the Sprint, please let the organisers know as soon as possible.


Code of Conduct

The 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.



Coffee and tea will be available throughout the Sprint at the venue, together with milk (both normal and vegan-friendly), sugar and sweeteners. Please try to be sensible with the amount of caffeine you consume – and drink plenty of water. 

For good coffee in Cambridge, Emmy suggests Hot Numbers, Aromi and Bould Brothers (not sponsors!).



Community makes the Sprint <3 By participating in the Sprint, adhering to the ground rules and Code of Conduct, you are part of the Sprint community. 


Compute resources

AWS is supporting the Sprint again this year. We will be able to provide a number of AWS instances and storage for web apps, machine learning jobs, etc. We will also be pre-loading some datasets for your exploration and use during the Sprint (e.g. Crossref Event Data).

Not sure what this is about? This website provides a good primer.



We encourage all participants to bring their own reusable cups for refreshments. If you cannot bring your own cup, please be environmentally conscious and reuse them whenever possible. We only have one planet! 


Cash and currency

The accepted currency in the UK is the Great British Pound (GBP). Most places in Cambridge and London accept credit and debit cards, so there is almost no need to withdraw cash if you have one of these (particularly convenient if you have a contactless card). For those travelling internationally, please check prior to departure with your bank to ensure that your card will work in the UK, and carry some cash just in case.


We value diversity highly at the Sprint – since one of the Sprint’s goals is to develop prototypes and solutions, we think that it is important that different voices are heard in this design process, regardless of your gender, geographical location, economic situation, (dis)ability, etc. As a participant, you are asked to respect each other. Be curious (but not intrusive, of course), stay open-minded, empathise – there’s so much you can learn from conversing with others who came from a different background than yourself.

Dinner social

We are organising a dinner social on September 4 (location tbc). This is a chance to get to interact with each other more, beyond working on your exciting projects. We will cater for all dietary requirements to the best of our abilities, and there will be alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks provided. The social is not compulsory, very casual and you are free to come and leave whenever you wish. The Code of Conduct remains active throughout the social. 


Please exercise common sense and be sensible when it comes to consuming alcoholic and caffeinated beverages at the Sprint and respect others’ choices. Again, it is a participant’s personal choice to consume or not consume alcohol and/or caffeine.


eLife is a non-profit organisation started by researchers for researchers. Our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by operating an open platform that encourages and promotes responsible research behaviours. The eLife Innovation Initiative is an effort to support open-source technological development to drive forward open science and research communication. We hope to achieve this by investing in open technologies, tools and platforms, as well as building and engaging a community of open-source innovators.

eLife logo


Emergency contacts

In an emergency, please do not hesitate to contact Emmy via email ( or slack. A phone number will be provided via email closer to the event. 

Here are a few more useful emergency contacts:

  • The Cambridge Junction (for on-site emergencies): (+44) 1223 511511
  • Ambulance and emergency services: 999
  • Nearest pharmacy: Numark Pharmacy, (+44) 1223 517073


Lunch and refreshments will be provided during the Sprint, as well as dinner on September 4 (if you join us for our dinner social). We have collected your dietary requirements and will do our best to ensure that we have a good variety of choices for Veg()an+!

If you have special dietary requirements that you have not previously indicated, please let us know as soon as possible.


We will announce crucial information regarding fire safety at the beginning of the event. In case of a fire, please remain calm and follow instructions from staff.

Git, GitHub/GitLab

All projects from the Sprint will be open-source. We encourage participants to work and collaborate openly using platforms such as GitHub and GitLab. If you are not familiar with Git and GitHub/GitLab, here is some useful resources to get you started:

Health and safety

Some participants may be attending this type of event, or travelling abroad for the first time. We care about your health and safety. Please let your family and friends know where you are, watch out for your personal belongings (especially in London), be careful when you are out alone at night and do ask for help if you are unsure or have questions about anything.


We want to create an inclusive and welcoming environment at the Sprint. We are providing travel support to facilitate attendance of participants who otherwise would not be able to attend. We are collecting full details to identify needs for childcare and mobility, accessibility and dietary preferences during registration. Feel free to reach out to the organisers and staff if they can improve your participation at the Sprint (see Accessibility, Childcare, Code of Conduct, Diversity, Emergency, Visa).

Junction, J2

The Cambridge Junction is our event host for the second year. They are a live music and arts venue, hosting a wide variety of interesting cultural and arts events as well as promoting creative collaborations. The Sprint is held in the J2 auditorium this year. Their address is Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX, United Kingdom.

Knowledge sharing

At the Sprint, you will be surrounded by developers, designers, researchers, science communicators… everyone is seeking to learn and contribute to driving forward open science. Reach out to other participants over coffee breaks, lunch and dinners; use the different areas of the space; be ready to talk about your ideas and experience, and also to listen to other people’s! You will get a lot more out of the event.


Participants are expected to bring your own laptops (equipped to connect to the internet via WiFi) for work during the Sprint. If you cannot access a laptop, please let us know ASAP. Don’t forget your chargers too!


A license is a document that specifies what can and cannot be done with a work. At the Sprint, we expect all outputs to use an open license. GitHub makes it easy to apply a license to a repository and this website can help you understand and choose an appropriate license for your project. 

Lightning talks

Participants are asked to give a lightning talk to introduce themselves in the morning of Day 1. It’s also an opportunity for potential project leads to pitch their projects and gather their teams. More information to follow.


Staff will carry small amounts of over-the-counter medication, e.g. Ibuprofen, paracetamol, antacids, for emergencies. If you have medication that needs refrigeration, there is a fridge in the quiet rooms which you can use. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have other requirements for your medical needs and health.

Name tags

The name tag helps other participants and staff identify you, and will also detail URLs to key information (the Code of Conduct, schedule, etc.). We will offer a range of stickers to indicate your roles and skill sets at the Sprint to help you make the best of the social interaction at the Sprint. You will also be encouraged to put your preferred pronoun, Twitter and Github handles on your name tag.


Openness is a core value at the Sprint. We believe that working, collaborating and documenting in the open will encourage reuse and facilitate discussions. 

All progress and output from the Sprint are recorded openly under open licenses (e.g. CC-BY). Not sure what license to use? Here’s a website to help you out.


You are allowed to take photos at the Sprint and we will also have an official event photographer. We will be offering a differently coloured lanyard to those who don’t want to be photographed. Be respectful of their decision and don’t take or post their pictures on social media. If you want to post pictures on social media, use the hashtag #eLifeSprint to tag the conference, so that other attendees and those who couldn’t join the conference can find your posts.

Power and adapters

In England, the power plugs and sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Please bring adapters to charge your devices. If you are using your laptop for a presentation, bring your adapter to connect it with the projector (HDMI or VGA).

Type G plug and socket

Project pitch

Everyone can pitch their project ideas in the working document – it is not limited to those who applied for project leads. Pitching ideas early gives participants more time to research and ask questions, but if you are interested in leading a project, you are also encouraged to pitch your project during your lightning talk.

The best way to convince others to work with you is to describe:

  • Your motivation for the project
  • Specifics of the work you envision to carry out as a team during the Sprint
  • Skill sets you are looking for


It has become a general practice to share pronouns (He/She/They/Ze etc.) on event name tags. For those unfamiliar with the practice of sharing pronouns at the conference, it goes something like this: “Name: Jane Doe. Pronouns: she/her”. This practice is important for making sure that we use correct pronouns, specifically for our trans, queer and gender non-conforming community members you will meet at the Sprint.

For more about pronouns usage:


Please avoid using strong fragrances and/or perfume at the Sprint, as some participants or staff could be allergic to them.

Quiet room

We have two quiet rooms at the event, and there will be signs to clearly indicate this, as well as clear directions to their locations. Events like this can be socially exhausting for some and these rooms are there for whenever you need a moment of silence. We ask that while you are in the room that you are mindful of others who may be sharing the space as well.

One room can be used for a Code of Conduct meeting or childcare when needed (it will be signed) but there will always be at least one designated quiet room.

Remote participation

If you know someone who you would like to work with but are not at the event, please feel free to include them in your group conversations and work. We encourage all participants to keep conversations in the open (through pull requests, issues, social media, etc) to allow remote participation. Staff will also be frequently tweeting progress via the hashtag #eLifeSprint for anyone who would like to follow the event.


Reuse is another core value at the Sprint. As much as we support and fuel innovation and new ideas, we also recognise that there are many existing open solutions and projects, and it is more efficient to build on top of them, rather than reinventing. It will also help your project reach a larger community.


A tentative version is available here.


We will be on Slack, an online team collaboration tool which allows instant messaging, file sharing, etc. (an invite will be sent soon) Join us there to connect and communicate with the organisers and participants of the Sprint. We will be actively using the various channels for continuing discussions and documenting them to summarise different aspects of the event. Also, you can install Slack apps to have access to these channels through your phone.


The Sprint will not be possible without our sponsors. Please do check out who they are, many of them have helped us brought the community together and contributed to diversity and inclusion.


In the context of the eLife Innovation Sprint, a Sprint is a time-constrained process for solving big challenges through creating and designing prototypes. At the eLife Sprint, participants with different skill sets self-assemble into groups and work on turning ideas into testable prototypes and v1 products. It is not meant to be stressful, nor an all-nighter; there are no prizes. It is about actions and collaborations.


There will be all-gender bathrooms with flat floor access at the Junction. 


For instructions on how to travel to the Cambridge and the Junction, please refer to the Travel page (the instructions are also downloadable as a PDF). If you haven’t booked travel tickets yet, we strongly suggest that you do it as soon as possible to minimise costs. 

Within Cambridge, most places are within walking distance. If you do need to travel to different parts of Cambridge during the event, you can get public transport directions with Google maps or Rome2Rio.

Bicycles are also commonly used. Dockless bike share like Mobike is active – please exercise caution if you do decide to cycle in Cambridge, especially if you are not a frequent roadside cyclist, or are used to driving/cycling on the other side of the road.

Travel support

We prioritise offers of travel support (flights/trains, accommodation and visa costs) to participants from under-represented communities, and those who otherwise would not be able to attend the Sprint. Everyone who applied and have been offered travel support should have received confirmations by this point – if you would like support for your travels but haven’t heard from us, please contact us ASAP.  


Twitter is one of our main ways of interacting with and enabling remote participation. We regularly communicate the latest information regarding the Sprint and the eLife Innovation Initiative via our Twitter account @eLifeInnovation

We encourage participants to use the hashtag #eLifeSprint with all Sprint-related tweets, so that others can follow the event online via Twitter.


At the Sprint, we emphasise creating tools and prototypes to drive forward research communication and open science. The key users of these tools are researchers, and it is important to keep that in mind in designs. We have a number of designers at the event, who can advise on UX/UI, user testing, creating user stories, etc. 

Not sure what we are referring to? Check out these Labs posts on how we designed and managed products at eLife, e.g. the Reproducible Document Stack, Libero and eLife 2.0: 


Thanks to our diversity and inclusion sponsors, we are able to support visa application costs this year. We have also provided visa support letters to facilitate our attendees’ visa application processes. If you do need a visa to visit the UK and haven’t been in touch with us about this, please do so ASAP. 


We will produce a video as an output of the Sprint. We envision this to comprise of short interviews with participants and just general clips capturing the event (see the video of the previous Sprint here). We will provide a different coloured lanyard for those who do not want to be captured on video (the same as for photos).


Hydration is very important and we will make sure that there will be sufficient drinking water provided at the event. You are encouraged to bring cups/bottles to remind yourself to drink, it will keep your mind fresh.


According to the forecast from AccuWeather, the temperatures during the Sprint will be between 10-21℃/50-70℉. Please pack accordingly and also be prepared for rain! It is generally cooler at night, and we suggest carrying extra clothing when going out in the evening. 

WiFi and internet

We are doing our best to guarantee good WiFi coverage at the event venue and will provide credentials for access at the beginning at the event. If you wish to access the internet outside of the event venue, many coffee shops, e.g. Starbucks, Costa, provide free internet access with a purchase. The Travelodge also provides complimentary WiFi for those who are staying (30mins per 24-hour period).