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ReSA Newsletter: August 2021

This month in research software - community news

  • GitHub is now providing built-in citation support that makes it easy to add software citation files to a repository, and GitHub then uses this to let users know how to correctly cite the software. This will help software developers more easily receive acknowledgments for their contributions, and once this metadata is stored in the repository, it can also be used by other members of the scholarly community to support citation in other ways.
  • Zenodo has added support for GitHub’s new software citation feature in generating metadata for software repositories. Also, Zotero can now use the enhanced metadata provided by developers when saving GitHub repositories.
  • Applications are open for the Better Scientific Software Fellowship Program, which fosters and promotes practices, processes, and tools to improve developer productivity and software sustainability of scientific codes. Fellows must be affiliated with a US-based institution that can receive Federal funds and will receive up to $25,000 for an activity that promotes better scientific software. Applications close September 30, 2021.
  • Code for Science and Society is accepting expressions of interest for the Digital Infrastructure Incubator, which holds space for projects to imagine possibility and implement strategy. This six-month cohort program comes with a $5,000 stipend and supports open source digital infrastructure emergent leaders in the implementation of research-backed recommendations concerning sustainability, governance, and community health.

FAIR4RS Update

The FAIR4RS WG is now forming three new subgroups to address its milestones on the adoption of the FAIR4RS principles. These subgroups will function from September - December 2021 to address the following aims:

Subgroup 5: Adoption guidelines - identify, create and review existing resources that facilitate the adoption of FAIR4RS principles Subgroup 6: Adoption support - identify and start to work with early adopters of the FAIR4RS principles Subgroup 7: Governance - clarify the governance structure of the FAIR4RS principles to the community from the release onward

More information on each subgroup, including details on how to join each subgroup, is contained in the subgroups links above. This includes contact details for the leads of each subgroup if you have questions.

A webinar to introduce the subgroups and answer questions about them will also take place 9-10pm UTC (convert to your timezone), Wednesday 1 September 2021. Register here. This will also be recorded for viewing after the event.

ReSA Steering Committee Chair

Daniel S. Katz has been announced as the inaugural Chair of the ReSA Steering Committee. Katz is chief scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Research Associate Professor in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“I’ve been working on increasing the recognition of research software and its dependence on the people who develop and maintain it for many years,” says Katz, “as this is critical to improving research impacts. I co-founded ReSA with Michelle Barker and Neil Chue Hong to enable the strategic coordination needed to maximize the achievement of community-wide goals, so I’m pleased to be able to expand my role in ReSA to help accomplish this, working with our fiscal sponsor, Code for Science & Society.”

Opportunities to get involved with community initiatives

  • US-RSE are interested in better understanding members who work in industry and determining how to grow this segment of its membership: If you work in industry and would be willing to talk with US-RSE for a bit, please fill out this short form to provide contact information. US-TSE will follow-up to ask a few more questions; you are not committing yourself or your organization to do anything more.
  • Upulee Kanewala, Jeffrey Carver and Nasir Eisty are conducting a research study titled “Testing Research Software”. They wish to assess current practices, identify challenges, and inform the community of potential improvements of testing practice within the research software domain. Taking part in this study requires completing a 15-minute survey which closes on 31 August 2021.
  • The Software Sustainability Institute’s Research Software Camp: Beyond the Spreadsheet is looking for volunteers who are new to coding and would like to develop their skills. They’re looking for anyone from any discipline or any level of experience.

Community events

In detail:

The Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability (WoSSS) series focuses on the topic of software sustainability, particularly on bringing together different research communities and provisions for the long term. WoSSS21 will surface key areas of software sustainability in cultural heritage, Open Science & FAIR software, research software and human infrastructures. The workshop will take place on Wednesday 6th October to Friday 8th October 2021 and will take place online. The curated programme will cover a broad cross section of software sustainability topics and will include a diverse mixture of speakers.

The workshop programme features multiple breakout discussion sessions. These sessions will capture the points of view of workshop participants and will reflect them in a final report. The real value of WoSSS is in the contributions by workshop participants. We invite you to join and make WoSSS a success!

Community resources

  • Do you need a simple explanation on how software containers can help research? See this video from Paula Martinez and others at the Australian Research Data Commons.
  • Improve team practices with RateYourProject, an online tool designed to help teams begin the process of Productivity and Sustainability Improvement Planning (PSIP), a new technique for improving team practices. This Better Scientific Software article describes how this tool can help scientific software teams to improve software engineering practices and other aspects of work.

If you’d like to suggest items for inclusion in ReSA News, please send them to To receive ReSA newsletters, join theReSA google group by sending a blank email to and follow us on twitter

The Research Software Alliance (ReSA) is a community of influencers and members of major research software communities, programs, organisations and individuals. ReSA’s vision is that research software be recognised and valued as a fundamental and vital component of research worldwide. The ReSA mission is to bring research software communities together to collaborate on the advancement of research software. ReSA is a fiscally sponsored project of Code for Science and Society.