About Stian Soiland-Reyes


tl;dr: Senior Lecturer in FAIR, Open and Reproducible Digital Research. Research interests include Linked Data, RESTful web services, metadata, provenance, annotations, open source and software development best practices.


Stian Soiland-Reyes is a Senior Lecturer in FAIR, Open and Reproducible Digital Research and co-leader of the eScience Lab in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Manchester.

In his research 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 and the workflow repository WorkflowHub.eu, as well as building FAIR approaches for computational workflows and FAIR Digital Objects. 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 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 workflows, 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) and in 2023 submitted his PhD thesis at the Informatics Institute of the University of Amsterdam.

He has more than two decades of experience as an IT professional, including 16 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. 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. More recently 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. In 2023, Stian became a Research Fellow and later a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science.

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 2023 Stian is supervising 1 PhD student in Manchester in collaboration with Professor Carole Goble, and will also supervise MSc projects for 2023/2024.

In 2023 the eScience Lab welcomed applications for a PhD studentship for Sharing reproducible analyses in Big Healthcare Data Infrastructures, funded by Health Data Research UK to be supervised by Stian and Carole Goble.

He has previously co-supervised 1 PhD student and multiple 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.