The significant role that software plays in research has been identified in a range of surveys and studies:
- A UK survey of 1,000 randomly chosen researchers showed that more than 90% of researchers acknowledged software as being important for their own research, and about 70% of researchers said that their research would not be possible without software.
- A study of Nature papers from Jan-March 2016 reveals that “32 of the 40 papers examined mention software, and the 32 papers contain 211 mentions of distinct pieces of software, for an average of 6.5 mentions per paper.”
- The US National Science Foundation made 18,592 awards totaling $9.6 billion to projects that mentioned “software” in their abstracts between 1995-2016
- Major scientific breakthroughs acknowledge reliance on underlying research software tools:
- Gravitational waves – Pegasus powers LIGO gravitational wave detection analysis.
- Influence of Denisovans on Modern Humans – New Sequence Analysis Suggests There Were Two Denisovan-Modern Human Admixture Events
- Drug Discovery – Software framework designed to accelerate drug discovery wins IEEE International Scalable Computing Challenge.
- Software developed for research being used outside of research