Building a FAIR roadmap for research software

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02 Aug 2020

Building a FAIR roadmap for research software

Submitted by Michelle Barker

Meeting objectives: 

This BoF provides an opportunity for FAIR enthusiasts to apply their FAIR expertise to the use case of research software. This BoF will focus on how and when to plan a broad integration across the software landscape of the FAIR principles for software (once developed by the FAIR 4 Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG)) through mechanisms that may include those already utilised or in process for FAIR data. Software has become essential for research, and application of the FAIR guiding principles to software is a vital part of advancing reproducibility and open science.


The 2018 European Commission report, Turning FAIR into Reality, concludes that FAIR digital objects (including software) need to be supported by metrics, incentives, skills and FAIR services that provide persistent identifiers, metadata specifications, stewardship and repositories, actionable policies and Output Management Plans. All of these need to be created for FAIR software, to complement the significant FAIR initiatives that primarily encompass data (and those emerging in other areas such as workflows and training materials), and to leverage the efforts already underway to enable this for software.


A draft of the roadmap identifies relevant software initiatives and equivalent FAIR data programs in areas such as: indicators, metrics, maturity models and certification; curriculums and competence centres, career profiles and reward structures; certification of FAIR services; interoperability frameworks; and policy change.


This discussion will enable a number of outcomes:


  • Development of the FAIR for research software roadmap to identify key stakeholders and guide further investment

  • Collaboration between FAIR data and software communities to maximise knowledge sharing

  • Identification of roadmap elements that are specific to research software and that have not been covered by FAIR for data initiatives

  • Mapping of existing FAIR for research software projects into a longer-term framework to improve strategic alignment and potential collaborators/leads for different parts of the roadmap

  • Identification of opportunities for existing FAIR initiatives to incorporate a focus on FAIR research software

This works supports the vision of organisations like the Research Software Alliance (ReSA): that research software is recognised and valued as a fundamental and vital component of research worldwide.


Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative Notes Link:


15 mins     Overview of background and aims of FAIR for research software roadmap

5 mins       Breakout groups to add to roadmap areas 

50 mins     Breakout groups

20 mins     Report back

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

This work will move beyond the FAIR for Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG) as an activity to follow the WG. When the FAIR for research software principles have been agreed upon, substantive work will be needed to enable their implementation in a number of areas. The FAIR for research software roadmap will plan how those principles can be built upon (or already are being extended), involving which collaborators, and in what timelines.

BoF chair serving as contact person: 
Meeting presenters: 
Michelle Barker, Neil Chue Hong, Daniel S. Katz, Leyla Garcia, Paula Andrea Martinez, Paul Richmond, Tom Honeyman, Carlos Martinez-Ortiz
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2):