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Resources for supporting policy change in research institutions in practice

June 2024

By Michelle Barker, Domhnall Carlin, Jeremy Cohen, Eric A. Jensen, Catherine M. Jones, Carlos Martinez Ortiz and Dan Rudmann

As software has become an increasingly important element of research across almost all domains, there is a need for better recognition of the importance and value of software to modern research processes and outputs. This includes the need for research organisations to provide guidance and policies relating to research software, as part of the institutional change to more effectively support the sustainability and impact of research software that is now critical to the research enterprise. The Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS) Working Group is helping to support this shift by developing examples and recommendations for institutional policies.

Resources for supporting policy change in research institutions in practice: A report from Subgroup 2 is one of the outputs of the PRO4RS Working Group, which is co-convened by the Research Software Alliance (ReSA) and Research Data Alliance (RDA). The report highlights the challenges that the working group is addressing and our motivation for looking at them. It then summarises a variety of existing resources relevant to different stakeholders.

Following on from this activity to collate a set of resources, the outputs from Sub Group 2 detailed in this report will feed into PRO4RS Working Group Sub Groups 3 and 4 which will undertake an analysis of existing policies and identification of areas where policies are lacking, respectively. The resources collated in this report will help to better understand existing approaches to research software policy and ensure that the PRO4RS Working Group can effectively develop the planned case studies in Sub Group 5 which will ultimately help to increase adoption of policies within research institutions.

If you’d like to stay engaged with this work, become a member of the PRO4RS Working Group. This will help you keep up-to-date with group activities, including opportunities to be involved. You can also receive updates through the ReSA newsletter. Please spread the word by sharing details of this work with peers, collaborators and institution management.

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