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Task forces

Understanding the research software landscape in the Global South

Expressions of interest

Are you familiar with the research software initiatives of a geographic region in the Global South, and interested in a few hours of paid work to share that knowledge?

ReSA is updating its mapping of the research software community and is seeking short-term contractors who can assist with profiling countries in the Global South. This could include listing of research software initiatives, events, funders, and a short contextual narrative. It is anticipated that this work could be undertaken completely via online research. Contractors will be remunerated up to USD$750 to complete approximately 2 days work by mid-February 2022. Contractors will ideally be located in the geographic area that they will review, or have previously resided there.

If this sounds like you, then fill out this short expression of interest. Expressions of interests are welcome from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and transgender status. As outlined in the ReSA Code of Conduct, ReSA welcomes and encourages participation in our community by people of all backgrounds and identities. Applicants must be able to enter into a contract with ReSA’s fiscal sponsor, Code for Science and Society. Please note that unfortunately applications cannot be accepted from the following countries due to restrictions on contracting arrangements: Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with an aim to fill positions from mid-December 2021 until mid-January 2022. If you have any questions then please contact the ReSA Director, Michelle Barker.

Context: ReSA’s vision is that research software is recognised and valued as a fundamental and vital component of research worldwide. A wide range of research software organisations and programs exist internationally to address the varied challenges in software productivity, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability. As detailed in the Strategic Plan, ReSA aims to coordinate across these efforts to leverage investments, to achieve the shared long-term goal of research software valued as a fundamental and vital component of research worldwide.

ReSA’s mission is to bring research software communities together to collaborate on the advancement of the research software ecosystem, to achieve the vision that research software and those who develop and maintain it are recognised and valued as fundamental and vital to research worldwide.

To deliver on this mission, we invite the ReSA community to join us on ReSA activities stemming from the ReSA Strategic Plan:

Community consultations

ReSA community consultations facilitate discussions to identify and prioritise challenges across ReSA’s three key themes: people, policy and infrastructure. Community consultations are core ReSA activities, enabling the community to collaborate on elucidating how to advance visibility of research software.

The ReSA People Roadmap is a community consultation to facilitate identification and prioritisation of the major issues related to people (or personnel) challenges faced by the research software community, including research software engineers. The People Roadmap will increase understanding on how to create an environment where research software personnel are recognised, have appropriate skillsets and access to inclusive communities, within policy and infrastructure environments that support their work. It involved interviews with 28 key stakeholders to facilitate strategic discussion across research software initiatives, with the intention of developing a collaborative approach to solving common issues in the following areas:

  • Roles/careers/recognition, e.g., Research Software Engineers (RSEs), research software product managers, research software community managers
  • Skills needed and provision of training (including resources such as best practice guides)
  • Community/team development, including diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Policy such as best practice examples relating to personnel issues
  • Infrastructure, physical infrastructure and standards in areas such as software citation that support people-themed issues

Task forces

ReSA task forces enable the community to focus and identifying challenges and solutions for a particular area, at the international level.

FAIR 4 Research Software is working to to define and effectively apply FAIR principles to research software, to achieve adoption of these principles, starting from a range of existing community-led discussions. This task force has been convened in partnership with the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and FORCE11. Join the group.

FAIR 4 Research Software Roadmap aims to identify key stakeholders in areas arising from the application of the FAIR principles to research software, to guide strategic planning and investment. Consultation with key stakeholders will enable the following outcomes:

  1. Mapping of existing projects that look at applying some of the elements of the FAIR principles to research software into a longer-term framework to improve strategic alignment and potential collaborators/leads for parts of the Roadmap.
  2. Identification of opportunities for existing FAIR data initiatives to incorporate a focus on FAIR research software.
  3. Identification of Roadmap elements that are specific (or that apply in a different way to) to research software and that have not been covered by FAIR data initiatives.

A number of initiatives have now been formed to progress particular elements of the Roadmap:

  • Metrics Working Group to develop FAIR research software metrics.
  • Life Sciences Working Group to support the implementation of the FAIR4RS principles in the life sciences community, with ELIXIR providing a pilot use case.
  • FAIR for Virtual Research Environments (VREs) Working Group will enable coordination between existing communities working with VREs, science gateways, platforms and virtual labs, to define what it means for VREs to be and enable FAIR, and provide guidance to VRE developers in achieving this.
  • FAIR4RS governance will create a communications plan and content that clarifies the governance structure of the FAIR4RS principles.
  • FAIR4RS skills and training curriculums aims to coordinate discussion on the opportunity for the training and research software communities to advance identification of FAIR research software skills and curriculums, building on both existing work on research software training for researchers and the growing body of FAIR data work in this area.

There are a range of other areas where the formation of working groups is being considered to apply FAIR research software, such as metadata, interoperability, preservation and archiving. If you’re interested in being involved then please contact us.

Task forces - completed

  • Software sections of RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations for policy makers, funders and the research community. Final recommendations helping COVID-19 stakeholders follow best practices to maximize the efficiency of their work, and to act as a blueprint for future emergencies.

  • Evidence for the importance of research software. This task force presented its outcomes in this blog posted by URSSI, SSI and Netherlands eScience Centre in June 2020. This work identified and analysed resources that demonstrate the importance of research software to research outcomes, to provide information for sharing with key influencers.

  • Software landscape analysis. This task force identified and analysed the research software landscape in this blog posted by URSSI, SSI and Netherlands eScience Center on 11 March 2020. Help us keep the ReSA list of research software communities up to date by making comments in the spreadsheet.