This BoF will support the formation of a joint RDA/Research Software Alliance (ReSA) Working Group to support research performing organisations worldwide to develop, align and implement policies on research software, as a key component of FAIR and open science.
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.
Research data management policies have been implemented to promote transparency, integrity, preservation, and overall value maximisation of research data in scientific research. Research software policies are closely interconnected to and mutually supportive of research data management policies. Nonetheless research software is fundamentally different from research data, and needs to be treated differently; it should not be seen as simply another type of data.
This BoF will aim to engage the community in the aims of the proposed Working Group to create a community of stakeholders involved in promoting and/or implementing policy that supports research software at research institution level. To achieve this, outputs will include:
Definition of common frameworks for research software policy.
Guidelines and case studies to increase adoption of (standardised) policies.
Identification of areas where policies are lacking to catalyse efforts.
Analysis of how to support policy change in research institutions in practice.
Software policies can cover multiple aspects of management to ensure legal, ethical, and secure use of software, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights, and can discuss how software work is used in hiring, evaluation, and promotion. Another motivation for institutions to develop and use these policies is compliance with funding agency, government, and disciplinary requirements and norms around data and software management.
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.