Implementing the Research Software Agenda for Australia

Recognising software as a first-class research output.
A person working in a dark control room with 2 monitors in front of them
Who will benefit
Research software creators and the people and institutions supporting them

The Challenge

Software is pervasive in modern life and Australia’s research sector is no different. Most researchers say their work wouldn’t be possible without the use of software. Despite this, research software is often an invisible part of research. Produced quickly within fixed funding windows, it’s often not maintained beyond that initial time frame.

Software is not recognised as a first-class research output in the same way our journal papers and datasets are. Yet it deserves to be.

Making research software a first-class research output ensures Australia can maximise the value that software represents. Making software creation and use more visible increases trust in research processes. Shaping cutting-edge research software for broadest and easiest use and reuse at the point of creation means research software can more immediately translate into benefits for the economy, environment and society. Sustaining valued research software means it can become resilient and continue to provide those benefits.

The Approach

Our research software program began with an activity to define a national agenda for research software and validate it with the community. Informed by priorities raised during community validation, we’re now applying that framework to subsequent projects designed to see, shape and sustain research software.

Separate but complementary activities to build areas of infrastructure, guidance, community and advocacy further break these projects down into a series of activities.


We’re seeking partners in a range of activities. We have community activities for each project, as well as additional events, and other activities.

Use the form below to contact us about potential collaboration aligned with the program areas you’re interested in.

Target Outcomes

Recognising software as a first-class output of research is a massive change to existing practice. We anticipate this will take many years to achieve and will require a broad range of activities that drive and adapt to change as it happens.

We see a future in which:

  • research software is visible and valued, fit-for-purpose with pathways to being maintained
  • research software creators can access the skills, support and recognition they need to build meaningful and fulfilling careers
  • research software policy and processes will exist, reflecting these new practices.

Key Resources

Read the final National Agenda for Research Software.

Contact the ARDC

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Current Phase

In progress


Research Topic

Related Resources