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.
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.
- lead a co-investment program to develop research platforms with sustainable outcomes in mind, including ARDC-supported sustainable research platforms
- lead national projects conducting activities, producing guidance, developing community and advocating for change to both sustain and shape research software
- provide best-practice guidance for building better software.
Visit the ARDC research software video playlist.
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”.