Stian Soiland-Reyes


  • Kilburn Building 2.71, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

My group

Research Group(s)


Stian Soiland-Reyes is a Senior Lecturer and co-leader of the eScience Lab in the Department of Computer Science. His research interests are on reproducibility, provenance and metadata to improve FAIR sharing of open research data and computational workflows, within ELIXIR Europe, European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) projects including EOSC-Life and the workflow repository, as well as building FAIR approaches for high-performance compute (HPC) environments and for federated analystics in Trusted Research Environments for health data.

Stian contributed to the W3C PROV standard and its implementation in workflow systems. As one of the early founders to the Research Object approach for sharing research outputs using Linked Data, he is now the co-lead of RO-Crate, a community-based lightweight approach to packaging and publishing research data with structured metadata. Stian is on the leadership team of Common Workflow Language, a standard for interoperable computational workflow, as well as on the technical steering committee for BioCompute Object, an approach for describing workflows for submission to regulatory authorities.

He graduated in 2006 with an MSc in Computer Science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He has more than two decades of experience as an IT professional, including 15 years as a software developer working across academia and industry. He joined the myGrid team in 2005 (now eScience Lab), where he became the Technical Lead Developer of the successful, open-source scientific workflow management system Taverna, which he helped transition to the Apache Software Foundation incubator. As part of the EU FP7-funded Wf4Ever project, Stian contributed to the W3C PROV specifications for capturing provenance and co-developed the Research Object model and ontologies, now implemented as RO-Crate where Stian is co-leader.

In recent years, Stian has continued this passion for reproducibility, structured metadata and open scholarship with engagement in projects related to FAIR, computational workflows, and RO-Crate.

Stian is co-leading and contributing to eScience Lab’s participation in several European-wide research projects, including: BY-COVID, FAIR-IMPACT, EuroScienceGateway, BioDT.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Stian has participated in W3C activities, co-authoring W3C Recommendations for Provenance, and collaborating on W3C Community efforts like Open Annotation (now Web Annotation Model), JSON-LD and w3id. He edited the ORE JSON-LD specification. He is part of the Common Workflow Language leadership team and co-author of the CWL specification. He is a Force11 member, where he promotes reproducibility best practices and open science. He is a member of the Technical Steering Committee for BioCompute Objects, and co-chair of Research Object Crate.

Stian is an active open source developer, and have contributed to software like ORCID, Apache Jena, OWL API, JSON-LD Java, as well as maintaining several Docker images. He is a Foundation Member of the Apache Software Foundation, where he is a on the Project Management Committee of Apache Commons, and Apache Incubator. He was a committer on Taverna in Apache Incubator and worked on Commons RDF. He is an occassional curator of abandomware including jai-imageio-core and beanshell.

Research interests

Stian’s expertise and research interests span software development and architecture, Linked Data, SOAP and REST Web Services, distributed and cloud computing, annotations, Open Science & Open Data, scientific computing, provenance and digital preservation, open source development and web standards.

My group

Stian co-leads the eScience Lab research group together with Professor Carole Goble. The group is based at the Department of Computer Science, The University of Manchester. It’s affiliated with the wider Information Management Group.

The eScience Lab team are focused on the research and development of products and practices designed for data driven and computational research. The eScience tools and techniques support the coming together of people, data and methods, the sharing of the research objects of science and the automation of analysis and data pipelines using computational workflows.

Our work can be called “Translational Computer Science” as we innovate solutions using state of the art knowledge approaches but also produce and run production services and resources for Digital Research Infrastructures, particularly those in the Biomedical Sciences and Biodiversity. Our tools and techniques have been adopted by a large number of projects and institutions across Europe and internationally, as well as national organisations.

Of particular focus in our work is to support practices and methodologies for researchers to follow the FAIR principles, not just for publishing research data with rich metadata, but for ensuring computational methods can also be shared in a fully described and reproducible manner.

The research by the eScience Lab spans a wide array of topics, including FAIR and Open Research, computational workflows, scholarly communication, reproducible science, linked data, provenance, knowledge representation and community building. Lab members are leaders in international standards setting and community groups working on digital research infrastructure for science.

The eScience Lab currently has guaranteed funding until 2028.

Activities and esteem

I am a strong believer in Open Access and Open Peer Review, such as practiced by GigaScience, The Journal of Open Source Software and F1000 Research.

If I'm invited to do a closed peer review, I always make it into a signed peer review, and invite the authors to open it, by starting my review with a text like:

Hi, I am Stian Soiland-Reyes and have pledged the Open Peer Review Oath

    • Principle 1: I will sign my name to my review
    • Principle 2: I will review with integrity
    • Principle 3: I will treat the review as a discourse with you; in particular, I will provide constructive criticism
    • Principle 4: I will be an ambassador for the practice of open science

This review is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and is also available at the (For now) secret URL

If you agree to make this peer review public, I would happily appreciate a message to <>

Don't worry - I only make the review public if they agree!

Why don't you try it? You would be surprised how many say yes, or who may even thank you! Talking of which, thanks to Sarven Capadisli who introduced me to this "trick" in his review of our PAV paper

Note: As I have signed the Cost of Knowledge pledge, I will not publish, referee or do editorial work with any Elsevier publication.


tl;dr: Senior Lecturer researching Linked Data, RESTful web services, provenance, annotations, open science, reproducible research results.


Stian teaches about provenance as part of courses:

He also assists in teaching:

Office hours

  • Mondays 13:00–1400
  • Thursdays 09:00–11:30
  • Room 2.62, Kilburn Building
  • Phone: 0161-275-0689

Supervision information

PhD studentships previously announced:

Current PhD students:

  • Meznah Aloqalaa
  • Aravindhan Rajasekar

Stian co-supervise several MSc and BSc students, often together with Carole Goble, with topics like:

  • Research Objects
  • Reproducibility
  • FAIR Computational Workflows
  • Open source software
  • Metadata and research data management
  • Web services

See MSc Project ideas (COMP66090)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, MSc Computer Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology - NTNU

… → 2006

Bachelor of Science, BSc Computer Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology - NTNU

… → 2003

External positions

PhD Candidate, University of Amsterdam

15 Jul 2019 → …

Areas of expertise

  • QA76 Computer software
  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • BC Logic
  • ZA4050 Electronic information resources
  • Q Science (General)
  • QD Chemistry
  • QH426 Genetics
  • RS Pharmacy and materia medica
  • AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Institute for Data Science and AI


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