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We're stealing Malcolm's method of getting attention for our new blog post about the AHM. Read the post here.

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The Software Sustainability Institute stand is up and running at the AHM 2010 in Cardiff. We're the first booth you will see as you enter the exhibitors hall, and it's hard to miss us since our stand is decorated with tightrope walkers and human pyramids.

There's a lot going on at the stand. To find out more about us, you can pick up a flyer or use one of the SSI laptops to browse our interactive powerpoint. If you have a question about software development, you can stop by the stand and 'Ask Steve' - our resident software expert, who will soon be answering questions on his own blog. You can stop by and pick up a pen or a "Death to Decay!" sticker. Or you could just drop by the stand and speak to Neil, Rob, Steve or Simon.

The Digital Preservation Coalition will be supporting three fully funded scholarships to attend 'How to set up and run a data service' at the UK Data Archive in November 2010. Applications are welcomed from DPC members and associates. The scholarship covers tuition fees, course materials, access to online resources, lunch and refreshments. Successful applicants will be asked to help promote the course and the
work of the coalition.

For more information see the DPC leadership programme at:
http://www.dpconline.org/training/leadership-programme

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The management, development and curation of robust software are key to research. That is the conclusion of a recent national consultation, undertaken by EPSRC, which gathered researchers’ views of the facilities and services required to conduct high quality research. The creation of the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) will fulfil a vital role by co-ordinating how we sustain important research software and make it available for future use.

There is currently no long-term strategy for preserving software tools developed by research projects. Software is often abandoned when a project ends or only maintained on a best effort basis. The goal of the SSI is not simply to make software available, but to make it useful by improving quality, usability and maintenance.

The sustainability of research software requires partnership. Only through close collaboration between software developers and researchers can advances be made both in software development and domain sciences. The SSI will work with the research communities to manage software beyond the lifetime of its original funding, so that it is strengthened, adapted and customised to maximise its value to future generations.

So how will this be achieved? The remit of the SSI is to collaborate with researchers to assist them in building self-sustaining communities around important software. Critically, this enables the development and evolution of the code to be carried out within the environment of the people who use…

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