A national facility for cultivating world-class research through software
Software helps researchers to enhance their research, and improve the speed and accuracy of their results. The Software Sustainability Institute can help you introduce software into your research or improve the software you already use.
The Institute is based at the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Southampton, and draws on a team of experts with a breadth of experience in software development, project and programme management, research facilitation, publicity and community engagement.
The importance of sustainability
Sustainability means that the software you use today will be available - and continue to be improved and supported - in the future.
Our goal is to make it easier to rely on software as a foundation of research. We help people learn the skills needed to build better software, and ensure that people get credit and encouragement for developing sustainable software. We work with researchers, developers, funders and infrastructure providers to identify the key issues and best practice surrounding scientific software.
Better science through superior software
Our work is focussed around four themes we believe are fundamental to doing research correctly in the digital age. These are related to our manifesto.
- Skills and Training: creating a capable research software community by enabling access to software development training for all researchers and teaching them methods to advance their research.
- Recognition and Reward: promoting and contributing to systems of credit for good software development and reuse practice.
- Career Paths: recognising and championing the varied job roles associated with research software; with a primary focus on the academic sector but suggesting industrial practice where applicable.
- Reproducible Research: promoting the fundamental place of software in supporting confidence in the research process and its results.
Taken together, these enable the efficient and effective use of software to tackle both the grand challenges that push the boundaries of human knowledge to day-to-day research software tasks.
We work with research groups from all disciplines, which gives us a broad understanding of the problems researchers face when using software. We use this expertise to ensure that you make the right choices about the software you use - and avoid the pitfalls.
We can help you gain the skills you need through our guides and other resources, or through training and collaboration. We can evaluate software based on your requirements, or you can review the software yourself with the help of our online tools.
We keep you up to date through our blog, which features guest authors on a range of software and research topics.
Last updated: Monday 2 December 2013.