Pre-conference event ticket

Tickets for the pre-conference CovidR event can be obtained free on EventBrite following the link below


Friday April 17th

CovidR Launch

Friday May 22nd

Submission and registration deadline

Monday May 25th

Notification to finalist(s)

Friday May 29th

e-Rum2020 pre-conference event & winner(s) annoucement

Make the difference

Humanity as a whole is now facing the global crisis of the coronavirus spreading. As individuals we can do our part in keeping others safe by following the rules suggested by governments and WHO. 

As part of the data science community we can also provide our contribution, by analyzing the data and helping to communicate it. Such type of support is high demand among governments and institutions: as an example the Italian government has announced a call for action to help understand, monitor and contain the virus spreading.

eRum2020 (or better e-Rum2020) is also doing its part by launchingCovidR”: a contest of R contributions around the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an online pre-conference event.

Any work done with R and on the  topic of COVID-19 is welcome. Selected contributors will be invited to present their work at the online e-Rum2020 pre-conference event, which will be held on May 29th, where the CovidR contest winner(s) will be announced and will receive their e-prizes. Finally, the best overall contribution will also be invited to present at the main e-Rum2020 conference (June 17th-20th).

The Philosophy

The contest in the right context.

Due to the relevance of the topic, we would like to clarify some points so that both the participants and their audience correctly engage with the CovidR contest.

The COVID-19 data assets that are made public and shared by authoritative institutions are immensely useful for researchers and academics globally.

However, their incompleteness and differences in collection policies across countries may open up to misunderstanding and miscommunication.

Data scientists should force themselves to be responsible data narrators and communicators. To what extent can Rstats be a tool for data narrative?

Can we use our tools to uncover missing data and data wrong-doing?

If data can be visualized, bias and errors can be visualized too, and sometimes this can be even more useful! New forms of visual communications can be used to help a less technical audience understand and interpret our data analysis and visualization, putting it in the right contest and underlying its limitations.

A beautiful visualization is not necessarily about beautiful data, but it’s beautiful when it allows people to understand what we know as well as (more often) what we actually do not. This new (unknown) virus is no exception.

The CovidR contest is mostly about R analytics technicalities and for data geeks, but it’s open to data scientists, analysts, academics and researchers that may use the single simplest R function, but just on the right question, at the right time, tackling the many doubts cast by this so vast paradigmatic change we’re all living.

For example, what about genomics and the multiple sequence alignment of viruses strains, their mutational trajectories, the reconstruction of geographical spread? What about the consequences of national lockdowns on mobility, commuting, flying? What about the consequences on data network usage and overloads, logistics, e-commerce, economics?

Being original in the contest means being able to address different aspects of the pandemics.

The CovidR contest is looking for such excellence and originality and we will also judge how R analytics can be an efficient and valid technical service to this effort and in such a context.

How to participate

  • Provide us with your contribution by May 22nd using the GitHub repository, following the instructions in the ‘Submit’ section.
  • A GitHub account is needed in order to submit a contribution.

What will you get

  • All contributions will be featured in the CovidR Gallery website, allowing the community to browse through and vote for your contribution.
  • Each participant will get a CovidR badge to include in their repository.
  • We will share contributions on our social media.
  • Selected contributions will be presented at the e-Rum2020 pre-conference event on May 29th.
  • Winner(s) will be awarded with e-prizes.
  • The ultimate contest winner will be invited to present at e-Rum2020.

How to register for the pre-conference event

To attend the pre-conference event, please purchase a free ticket before May 22nd to give us the chance to get organized from a technical perspective.

Additional information on how to access the event will be provided closer to the event date to all ticket holders.

If you are interested in supporting our organization and its activities to promote R you can also purchase a free ticket with an open donation: the funds raised through donations will be used to support the MilanoR association and the organisation of events like e-Rum2020 and their related activities.

You can get your free ticket for the event


How to win

An internal jury will pick the winner(s) by evaluating:

  • technical quality of the work – i.e. interesting, innovative and uses of the R language;
  • popularity of the work among the community – based on thumbs up in the CovidR Gallery.

The winner(s) will be announced

during the pre-conference event on May 29th

Partecipations rules

  • Any work or analysis must be performed starting from official data (governmental, institutional, national or international), providing complete reference to sources.
  • Data used can directly refer to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (official number of cases, tests performed, viral genome sequences, …) or to different metrics that can affect the course of the infection if put in the context of the outbreak (demography, population density, census, geographic distributions, movements, …).
  • Work can refer to a single specific country, a group of countries or the whole globe.
  • Work or analyses must wholly or at least for a relevant part rely on R-based analytics.
  • Data and source code must be open sourced and available through an open repository.
  • Work can be of any kind, from original data analyses, models, to interactive dashboards or infographics.

If you have general questions you can always contact us at

Otherwise we recommend using the Issue / Pull Request submission mechanism as a channel for discussing how you can submit your contribution.

For more information on how to send your work you can also view this video


Looking forward to seeing all the beautiful things our community can make!

e-Rum2020 Organizing Committee