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Defining Research Software: a controversial discussion

By Morane Gruenpeter

Software is essential in modern research; it plays vital roles at multiple stages of the research lifecycle. The term Research Software is widely used in the academic community but, what do we mean when we use these terms? Software and research? When you think of software, you may think of a digital object that is executed on a machine. Yet software is more than just this, it is a complex and evolving artifact. It may be a concept or a project designed to solve a puzzle by a team or a community that develops its functionalities and algorithms, which might not be digital objects.