Sustaining Research Software

Sustaining research software means:

  • identifying pathways to support maintenance
  • sustaining roles which are themselves stable, inclusive, supported and valued
  • using tools and techniques for building better software.

How the ARDC Supports Sustaining Research Software

An important first measure for sustaining research software is understanding the scale and distribution of the workforce that develops and maintains the software needing to be sustained. In 2021, the ARDC sought to measure employees who develops and maintains research software across Australia. The report detailing the results estimates that more than 6000 people are in roles that provide this research software capability.

Read the news article: Survey Reveals 6000+ People Develop and Maintain Vital Research Software for Australian Research.

The ARDC also supports the Research Software Engineers Association of Australia and New Zealand (RSE-AUNZ), which aims to raise awareness of the role of research software engineers in the research process and build a community of practice. The ARDC supports leadership in this group through representation in the steering committee. We encourage RSEs to join RSE-AUNZ and connect with peers seeking stable, fulfilling and recognised roles as research software engineers.

We also:

Visit the ARDC research software video playlist.

International Initiatives

The following international initiatives support sustaining research software.

Research Software Alliance has the mission to “bring communities together to collaborate on the advancement of research software”.  The ARDC is represented on the ReSA Steering Committee and provides additional in-kind support for a community manager. 

Working Towards Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE) is “an international community-driven organisation that promotes sustainable research software by addressing challenges related to the full lifecycle of research software through shared learning and community action.” The ARDC contributes to WSSSPE workshops.

Software Sustainability Institute (UK) “cultivates better, more sustainable, research software to enable world-class research”.

US Research Software Sustainability Institute is an NSF funded project to developing pathways to research software sustainability.

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Last updated

14 May 2022




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