Mastering the Art of Research Software Metadata and Metrics

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09 Jun 2023
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 


Collaborative session notes:


"Most modern scientific results rely on software tools. Availability of the source code of these software tools is one of the prerequisites to ensure that results can be reproduced, understood, and trusted. Ensuring transparency of the scientific process is essential as it eases the acceptance of research results" (UNESCO's Paris call, 2019).

In this meeting, we invite RDA members with a keen interest in software, especially software source code, to engage in meaningful discussions encompassing various aspects of software in the research lifecycle. Our primary focus will be on the critical importance of making software accessible, findable, and reusable to facilitate the reproducibility of research results.

During RDA P21, we will explore two key topics:


1. Research Software Metadata (RSMD) Guidelines [4]:

   We will delve into the RSMD guidelines, emphasizing their role in enhancing the understanding and management of software source code. These guidelines will provide a framework for effectively describing software through metadata, ensuring its discoverability and enabling seamless reuse.


2. FAIR-IMPACT Metrics for Assessing Research Software FAIRness:

   The FAIR-IMPACT metrics will take center stage as we examine their significance in assessing the FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) of research software. These metrics will enable researchers to self-assess the FAIRness of their software, promoting a culture of transparency and reproducibility.

The discussions and presentations within the Software Source Code IG session will underscore the ongoing commitment required to advance our understanding and practices related to software source code management, identification, reproducibility, and curation quality. This session will serve as a collaborative platform, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and fostering cooperation among participants from various disciplines. Together, we will collectively address the challenges surrounding software description through metadata, promoting the adoption of best practices and innovative approaches.


Join us in this session to contribute to the progress of research software and its pivotal role in ensuring trustworthy and reproducible research outcomes.

Meeting agenda: 

Join us for an engaging event focused on mastering the art of Research Software metadata. This event aims to explore various aspects of software in the research lifecycle and highlight the importance of making software accessible, findable, and reusable for reproducibility and trust in scientific results.



- Introduction to the group (5 min)

- Update on FAIR4RS (5 min)

- Update on other community efforts (5 min)

- Presentation of the RSMD guidelines (15 min)

- Presentation of the FAIR-IMPACT metrics (15 min)

- Activity: "Meta Madness: Unraveling the Magic of Software Metadata!" (30 min)

- Closing (15 min)



1. Collect existing practices and share experience when it comes to software source code archival, reference, description and citation.

2. Empower participants to integrate robust metadata practices into their research software projects, promoting accessibility, discoverability, and reusability to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of scientific outcomes - in this interactive session, attendees will collaboratively explore challenges and solutions related to software metadata. 

3. Knowledge of RSMD Guidelines and FAIR-IMPACT Metrics: The presentations on RSMD (Research Software Metadata) guidelines and FAIR-IMPACT metrics will equip participants with practical insights into implementing effective metadata practices for their research software projects. 

4. Awareness of FAIR4RS and Other Community Efforts: Attendees will be updated on the latest developments in the FAIR4RS (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable for Research Software) initiative and other collaborative efforts within the research software community. 


During this event, we will discuss ongoing initiatives and collaborative efforts related to software source code management, identification, reproducibility, and quality. The presentations on the RSMD guidelines and FAIR-IMPACT metrics will provide valuable insights into effective metadata practices and self-assessment of software FAIRness.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to connect with experts, exchange knowledge, and contribute to addressing challenges in describing software through metadata. Mark your calendars and join us for a productive and enlightening session.

Target Audience: 

The target audience for this session comprises: repository managers, software project owners, software catalog maintainers, researchers, research software engineers, archivists, librarians, and others with an interest in the discovery, description and preservation of software source code. This session will be particularly of interest to those who are developing software or assisting with software curation. 


Participants should familiarize themselves with current efforts in preserving source code (such as Software Heritage), describing software (e.g. CodeMeta) and citing software (the FORCE11 Software Citation Principles). Participants may also watch the Research Software MetaData workshop and webinar which will be described in the session.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Software Source Code IG was founded in 2017, after a BoF session at the 9th Plenary. It aims to discuss issues on identification, management, sharing, discovery, archival and provenance of software source code, review and revise metadata for describing and discovering source code, develop guidelines for managing, describing and publishing software source code, collect and publish use cases of current examples and practices, and contribute software related expertise to other groups in the RDA which have a software aspect.


During the P12 SSC IG session, a discussion to create a Working Group dedicated to software source code identification led to the creation of the Software Source Code Identification Working Group [SCID WG] which is a joint RDA and FORCE11 WG. This working group has completed its life-cycle with the supporting output:

“Use cases and identifiers schemes for software source code identification” [1].

At VP15 we have discussed the FAIR principles and started the process of creating a new working group, which was launched at the end of June 2020, the FAIR for research software working group [FAIR4RS WG]. The FAIR4RS WG is a joint initiative with ReSA and FORCE11. 


At VP16 we have presented the SCID WG output and other outputs and activities from different RDA and FORCE11 working groups that discuss software. We have also collected software practices in the academic community.


At VP17 we have presented the EOSC SIRS TF [2] and other outputs and activities from different RDA and FORCE11 working groups that discuss software. We have also conducted a mini-workshop about software quality.


At VP18 we had a session about reproducibility, GUIX, the first free software distribution backed by a stable archive and how GUIX is used in a computational center (GRICAD).


At P20 the session was focussed on policies and incentives driving change for software source code recognition in the scholarly ecosystem. Several policies and initiatives were highlighted, including internationally through the FAIR4RS initiative and with academic publishers, at the national governmental level in France, and at the national research infrastructure level in Australia. An activity at the end of the session identified incentives to drive change in software source code practices. 

Short Group Status: 

Ongoing Interest Group open to discussion about software source code in different domains and for different use cases. The SSC IG is the maintenace group for the FAIR4RS principles and the RSMD guidelines.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Morane Gruenpeter (Software Heritage), Neil Chue Hong (SSI), TBC