Manifesto

From the grand problems that push the boundaries of human knowledge, to day-to-day research tasks, software has made an invaluable contribution to advancing research. 

We believe that the full benefits of software in research will only be realised when software is accepted as a valid research output.

We call for all researchers to have access to basic software training to help them harness the power of software for their research.

We say that there must be reward and recognition for Research Software Engineers: the people who contribute to research by developing software.

Finally, we argue that good software practices create better software, and that better software improves the reproducibility and reusability of research.

The Software Sustainability Institute represents the needs of software users and developers in the research community. We lobby for the recognition of the role of software in research, better software education for the research community, recognition of the role of people who develop research software and better engineering of software to provide confidence in the results that software generates.

Recognition of software as a research output

Many researchers invest a considerable amount of time into the development of software for their research, but this time is not rewarded in the same way as time that is invested into writing papers. The metrics used for determining the quality of research must be updated to reflect the role of software in research, and to reward the time invested…

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Better softwareA national facility for cultivating and improving research software to support world-class research

Software is fundamental to research: 7 out of 10 report their work would be impossible without it.

From short, thrown-together temporary scripts to solve a specific problem, through an abundance of complex spreadsheets analysing collected data, to the hundreds of software engineers and millions of lines of code behind international efforts such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Square Kilometre Array, there are few areas of research where software does not have a fundamental role.

The Institute is a leading international authority on research software sustainability, working with researchers, funders, software engineers, managers, and other stakeholders across the research spectrum. The use of software in research continues to grow, and the Institute plays a key role in helping the research community to help itself. We have built a network of over 60 Fellows from across research disciplines, championed research software and software career paths to stakeholders, worked with over 50 projects to improve their codes, written guides on all aspects of software…

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