Digital Curation Centre

By Software Sustainability Institute Fellow Patricia Herterich
Why write a Software Management Plan?

Research software can take many guises. It can be a 50 line bash shell script for manipulating and filtering files, a collection of 100 line R scripts for running a bioinformatics analysis, 10,000 lines of Java for medical image analysis or 100,000 lines of Fortran for computational fluid dynamics. It may be written in scripting languages such as Unix shell, Python, R or MATLAB or in "traditional" programming languages such as C, C++, Fortran or Java.

When developing research software, we need to know what we are going to write, who it is for (even if this is just us), how we will get it to them, how it will help them, and how we will assess whether it has helped them or not. A Software Management Plan can help us think about these and decide upon the processes and infrastructure we will use when developing our software.

Since deploying a prototype Software Management Plan service last year, we have been drawing together advice and guidance to help researchers write Software Management Plans. We have now published v0.1…

By Mike Jackson, Software Architect.

Software management plans set down goals and processes that ensure software is accessible and reusable throughout a project and beyond. To complement our guide on Writing and using a software management plan we have now developed a prototype software management plan service, powered by the Digital Curation Centre's data management plan service, DMPonline.

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