Understanding How Researchers Find Research Software for Research Practice

Read a report commissioned by the ARDC on how researchers find research software and possible ways to improve its discoverability.

Research software is increasingly recognized as critical to research and as a first-class research output in itself, having a great potential to be reapplied and built upon. But for research software to be valuable, it must first be findable. Improved software findability benefits research institutes, research funding bodies, and infrastructure providers as well as researchers.

As a key step to making research software more visible, the ARDC asked researchers how they find research software in a survey and commissioned Dr Frankie Stevens to analyse the results. The findings are detailed in this report, which sheds light on the motives behind, approaches to, challenges in, and expectations for research software discovery. The report further recommends actions that could improve research software visibility and inform priority areas for developing relevant national infrastructure.

Next Steps

You can also read the following supplementary materials:

This report is just one part of the ARDC’s project to improve research software visibility. In the first half of 2023, the ARDC will begin a public consultation process to identify specific pieces of national level infrastructure to be developed to better enable software discoverability. If you’d like to share your thoughts on what additional information could better inform this or if you want to register your interest to be involved in the consultation, please contact us.

  • Frankie Stevens. (2022). Understanding How Researchers Find Research Software for Research Practice.

    DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7340033

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    The cover of the A R D C report Understanding How Researchers Find Research Software for Research Practice. The title and the name of the author, Doctor Frankie Stevens, are set against a vector artwork of numerous glowing purple dots connected with one another to form a cascade of blue and purple triangles.

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