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The importance and challenges of sharing research software

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Institute of Physics

37 Caledonian Road

London

N1 9BU

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This event will explore the importance and challenges of effective and sustainable sharing of research software.

About this Event

Research software is increasingly being recognised as an important research output which also has a role in supporting the transparency and reproducibility of papers and associated experimental results. Funders such as Wellcome now include software in their data sharing policies, while more journals are supporting open sharing of software. The Research Software Engineering movement, which has developed over the last few years to support the people who build research software, is also developing awareness and understanding of the importance of research software.

The WSSSPE (Working towards Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences) community says:

Progress in scientific research is dependent on the quality and accessibility of software at all levels and it is now critical to address many new challenges related to the development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software.

We still have much to learn about open sharing and reuse of research software. One study of researchers suggests that only half are aware of community standards of software sharing. A range of community events and publications have looked at issues around software licensing, such as this article published in PLOS Computational Biology in 2012, but this remains a complex area for researchers and developers. Ways to effectively cite software and gain more traditional academic credit for software outputs are developing and the Force11 software citation working group developed some principles for software citation in 2016. They continue to develop citation practice and say that:Software citations should be accorded the same importance in the scholarly record as citations of other research products, such as publications and data.

However, an analysis this year shows that research software remains largely uncited. A recent survey of Research Software Engineers suggests some characteristics that sustainable research software should have.

A range of tools are now available to help with sharing software, and were reviewed in a recent technology feature in Nature. Taking advantage of and building upon such tools represents an important element in ensuring a long-term, sustainable future for research software.

Chair: Martin O'Reilly, Director of Research Engineering, Turing Institute

Speakers include:

Rachael Ainsworth - Research Software Community Manager, Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) /Organiser, HER+Data MCR

Ian Mulvaney - Head of Product Innovation, Sage

Stephen Eglen - Computational neuroscientist and Turing Institute fellow.

and other speakers TBC.

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This event is being organised jointly by Open Research London and the RSLondon regional research software community for London and the South East of England.

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The day after this event, on Thursday 6th February, the RSLondonSouthEast 2020 workshop is being held. This is for software developers, researchers, academics, systems professionals and anyone with an interest in research software. RSLondonSouthEast 2020 is a full-day workshop consisting of talks, discussion and networking opportunities that will take place at The Royal Society in London. You can register for RSLondonSouthEast 2020 via Eventbrite.

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Institute of Physics

37 Caledonian Road

London

N1 9BU

United Kingdom

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