See Research Software

Recognising research software as a first-class research output.
research software,See Research Software
Project
See Research Software
Project lead
Dr Tom Honeyman, ARDC
Who will benefit
Researchers writing analysis code, and the people and institutions supporting them

Timeframe

Ongoing

Current Phase

In progress

ARDC Co-investment

The Challenge

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. A push for greater transparency is driving a change to make research software – especially in the form of analysis code – more available. Similarly, research software infrastructure’s role in underpinning research is largely invisible, making it hard to connect this endeavour to research impact.

The Response

Our Research Software program began with an activity to define a community-validated national agenda for research software. Informed by priorities raised during community validation, we’re now applying that framework to subsequent activities designed to see research software.

This project addresses the need for all forms of research software, but especially analysis code, to become more visible, including more:

  • shared, published or made available upon creation
  • cited or identified in reuse
  • captured in data provenance or workflows.

With our partners, we’re undertaking a range of activities to build areas of infrastructure, guidance, community and advocacy.

Who Will Benefit

All software creators benefit when research software is more visible and valued. Citation benefits creators with acknowledgment of the value of their work. Creators of underlying dependencies to analysis code benefit from the connection made between that underlying code and the research outcomes tied to the publications the analysis code accompanied.

Society at large benefits from greater transparency in research processes. Making code available – and especially analysis code – demonstrates the decisions made and methods used in preparing an analysis. More transparent research has potentially far-reaching benefits for the economy, environment and society.

The people and institutions who support research software creators will benefit from the policy and processes we’re developing to drive and support this culture change in Australia’s research sector.

The Partners

Our initial partners on this project are:

  • University of New South Wales (UNSW) Library
  • Australian BioCommons
  • Research Software Alliance

And we are open to forming new partnerships.

We’ve already conducted a range of events and activities:

Target Outcomes

This project will result in the following outcomes.

Infrastructure:

  • A report considering national informatics needs for research software arising from research in Australia was delivered in 2022. Read the report and the supplementary materials here.

Guidance:

Communities:

Advocacy (code availability):

  • software policy implementation guide, launching in 2022
  • activities to adopt and socialise the FAIR4RS principles when it’s formally released — for more details, watch our presentation at the Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability.

Additional activities will be developed and will deliver new outcomes over the course of the project.

Contact the ARDC

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