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Guidelines

To help you identify key resources this page highlights those relevant to each of the ReSA themes: people, policy and infrastructure. These resources are mostly international recommendations, reports and guidelines that emphasise best practice.

People

Policy

International policies

  • OECD Council: In 2021 the OECD Council adopted a revised Council Recommendation on Access to Research Data from Public Funding. This legal instrument was revised for the first time to include software, meaning that OECD members (which include most research-intensive countries) will have to create policy and law to implement it. This recommendation, which is known as a “soft law” legal instrument, has been updated to address new technologies and policy developments. It provides policy guidance in seven areas with an expanded scope to cover not only research data, but also related metadata as well as bespoke algorithms, workflows, models, and software (including code), which are essential for their interpretation. The OECD Council recommends fostering (and requiring where appropriate) the adoption of good practice for research data and software management across the research system, promoting data and software citation in academic practice (including the development of citation standards), training a cadre of research software engineers and enabling recognition and reward of software development skills as high value added to publicly funded research and innovation.

  • UNESCO: The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was unanimously adopted by member states in 2021. This recommendation defines open scientific knowledge as “open access to scientific publications, research data, metadata, open educational resources, software, and source code and hardware that are available in the public domain or under copyright and licensed under an open licence”. In particular, the recommendation argues for users to gain free access to open source software and source code in a timely and user-friendly manner, in human- and machine-readable and modifiable format, under an open licence. The source code must be included in the software release and made available on openly accessible repositories, and the chosen licence must allow modifications, derivative works and sharing under equal or compatible open terms and conditions. See also the Checklist for Universities on Implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science and other elements of the UNESCO Open Science Toolkit.

National and regional policies and strategies

Research institution policies

ReSA is creating a listing of institutional policies that support research software in a range of organisations - please add to this or join the task force undertaking this work.

Infrastructure

Software development

Software sharing and citation

Lists of resources

Do you have resources to add?

To increase research impact and recognise the role that software plays in it, it is critical to build the Research Software Engineering community and profession in all geographic regions, while also fostering global collaborations.