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Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS) Working Group

13 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Group(s) submitting the application: 

RDA & ReSA: Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS)

Meeting objectives: 

This session will facilitate the activities of this joint RDA/Research Software Alliance (ReSA) Working Group (WG) to support research performing organisations worldwide to develop, align and implement policies on research software, as a key component of FAIR and open science. 

In this session the PRO4RS WG will provide a summary of its activities and updates from 3 sub-groups which aim at:

  1. Identification of relevant policies, building on the institutional policies already collected by the ReSA taskforce.
  2. Collation of resources on how to support policy change in research institutions in practice, to support implementation. This will utilise work such as How to Introduce and Implement Policy in Your Institution and Still Have Friends After, a FORCE11 Scholarly Communication Institute course by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Shreeves.
  3. Development of a common framework for research software policy through analysis of policies collected, allowing for different levels of commitment. This will build on the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) Policy Clause Bank and Generator, which includes policy clauses for code and software sharing (for funders). 

Session participants are invited to join the work of these sub-groups and contribute to the PRO4RS WG.

Meeting agenda: 

  1. Introduction to WG
  2. Update and how to get involved with subgroup 1 – Identification of relevant policies
  3. Update and how to engage with for subgroup 2 – Collation of resources on how to support policy change
  4. Update and options for contributing to  subgroup 3 – Development of a common framework for research software policy
  5. Future steps

Target Audience: 

The PRO4RS WG will be of interest in policy change in the research sector, or how to increase support for research software and the people who develop and maintain it. It will be particularly relevant to participants who: seek to change policies in their own research institutions (in any area, not just research software); are part of national and/or international organisations that engage with research institutions; or are interested in open science policies for any stakeholder group (such as Data Stewards, publishers, repositories, funders, research infrastructures).

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Hugh Shanahan

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

An increasing number of initiatives are focusing on implementation of research software within the context of FAIR and open science. Efforts to align policies from funders, journals, and governments are also in progress. However, there is a significant gap around how research performing organisations can develop and implement policies to help sustainability of software outputs and underpin research quality. 

This session will engage the community in the projects underway in the Working Group to create a community of stakeholders involved in promoting and/or implementing policy that supports research software at research institution level. Ultimately, by establishing solid policies for research data and software management, institutions can promote good research practices, enhance collaboration, foster reproducibility, and maximise the value and impact of efficient and reliable scientific research.

Short Group Status: 

The WG contributed to the webinar “Institutional Research Software Policies: Moving Forward With Lessons Learned From Dutch Institutes” on the 16th January 2024. The webinar summarised the outcomes from a community event that included research policy makers, research supporters and others interested in research software policies in the Netherlands.

The WG was also involved in the “Navigating research software policies: Insights from the Dutch research community” event run by the Netherlands eScience Center on 3rd October 2023, with one of the WG co-chairs giving a talk to introduce PRO4RS and our planned activities.

Type of Meeting: 

Informative meeting

Additional links to informative material: 

List of research institution policies that support research software

List of resources on on how to support policy change in research institutions

Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 

Software Source Code IG

Meeting presenters: 

Michelle Barker, Daniel S. Katz, Hugh Shanahan, Jeremy Cohen

Are you willing to host a second, repeat, session at a different time zone?: