About Stian Soiland-Reyes


tl;dr: Open Source research software engineer with interests in Linked Data, RESTful web services, provenance, annotations, open science, reproducible research results.


Stian Soiland-Reyes is a Technical Architect and Research Associate at the eScience Lab in the Department of Computer Science.

As a joint researcher and software developer he is working 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 WorkflowHub.eu, as well as building FAIR approaches for high-performance compute (HPC) environments within BioExcel. 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. Stian is the Technical and Community Advisor for the recently started Workflows Community Initiative.

Stian 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 eScience Lab in 2005 (then called the myGrid team), where he became the Technical Lead Developer of the 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. In recent years, Stian has continued this passion for reproducibility, structured metadata and open scholarship with engagement in several projects related to FAIR, computational workflows, and RO-Crate.

Research projects

Stian is co-leading and contributing to eScience Lab’s participation in several European-wide research projects:

Previous projects

Teaching and supervising

Stian teaches provenance models as part of the course unit Understanding Data and their Environment in the cross-faculty MSc Data Science programme at The University of Manchester.

As of 2022 Stian is supervising 1 PhD student, 2 MSc student projects and 2 BSc third-year projects in Manchester in collaboration with Professor Carole Goble.

He has previously co-supervised 1 PhD student and several BSc/MSc student projects. He has informally mentored PhD students internationally, as well as mentoring several student projects of Google Summer of Code.

PhD Candidate

In July 2019, Stian started as a PhD Candidate in the INDElab at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam.

Member 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.