Shape Research Software

Recognising research software as a first-class research output.
research software,Shape Research Software
Shape Research Software
Project lead
Dr Tom Honeyman, ARDC
Who will benefit
Researchers writing new software tools for others to use, and the people and institutions supporting them



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. New research software tools capturing cutting-edge research are often made hastily within a funding window. Creators need access to skills and support to build software that can be broadly and easily reused.

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 shape research software.

This project will encourage and help authors of new software (especially prototype tools) to:

  • anticipate broadest appropriate use
  • employ best practices for quality software
  • extend upon existing software rather than recreating it (where possible).

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

Who Will Benefit

Quality research software can more immediately translate into benefits not just for the creators and users of this software. Faster, more robust and actionable novel research methods have clear 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 partners on this project is the Research Software Alliance.

We are open to additional partnerships. Contact us using the form below.

Target Outcomes

This project will result in the following outcomes:

  • Infrastructure (research software assets): a report estimating the scale of new software arising from research in Australia, to be delivered in the first half of 2022
  • Guidance: events and guidance on Building Better Software
  • Communities: currently being scoped
  • Advocacy: awards for early career researchers making new methods and models available as prototype tools — details coming soon.

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

Contact the ARDC

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