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Task forces

ReSA’s mission is to advance the research software ecosystem by collaborating with decision makers and key influencers, 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. You can also support ReSA’s work through Organisational Membership, task force support, or a donation.

Current task forces

ReSA task forces enable the community to identify and focus on challenges and solutions for a particular area, at the international level. There are also task forces associated with the Research Software Funders Forum focusing on improving coordination of funding, and implementation of the FAIR4RS Principles. To suggest or join a ReSA task force, please refer to these guidelines.

Code Availability

This is a joint ReSA task force and FORCE11 working group working towards greater alignment on policy and other related actions for code availability. Code availability is concerned with the code associated with the findings of an article being made available alongside (or prior to) the publication of the article. The group has an initial focus on publisher policies concerning code availability. Then the group aims to examine ways that tools and guidance might help with policy adoption, with the overarching aim of getting more code shared. Outputs include a analysis of publisher policies on code sharing, and presentations at the March 2023 Research Data Alliance plenary, in two different sessions. Lauren Cadwallader presented to the Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation Interest Group (15 mins) and Tom Honeyman to the Software Source Code Interest Group (8 mins) Both sessions were considering policy overall, but coming at it from very different angles. This task force builds on the International Data Week session, Sharing code that supports research articles: is it time to align goals and publisher policies? (slides and video). Contact to request to join or for any questions.

Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS)

Are you interested in research institution policies that support research software and the people who develop and maintain it? Join the joint Policies in Research Organisations for Research Software (PRO4RS) Working Group with the Research Data Alliance to help build our collection of institutional policies and consider how to better share these with interested stakeholders. This combined working group builds on the ReSA task force to collect institutional policies for further dissemination as examples and encouragement to increase the value of research software assets worldwide. You can add your organisation’s policy to the public list.

Research Software Authorship and Contribution

Developing research software is a dynamic, agile and collaborative effort, involving a spectrum of contributions that may or may not qualify contributors for authorship of the software. Different types of contributions to software have been suggested across a number of projects, but there is a lack of community support for any one of these taxonomies or vocabularies. Furthermore, we currently lack community guidelines and criteria for software authorship.

This task force takes forward previous work to define software authorship and comprehensively describe contribution types/roles in software. The group examines relevant previous work and literature to formulate drafts defining both software authorship and the nature of contributions. These drafts will be made public for expert and community review. Following this consultation phase, they will be published as comprehensive community guidelines.

Completed task forces

Database of Research Software Funding Opportunities

ReSA has created a public database of current and past research software funding opportunities to improve the findability of this important information. Members of the community can add current funding opportunities. ReSA will also be adding more details of past funding opportunities to enable analysis of patterns in research software funding, to build on ReSA’s Overview of the research software funding landscape. ReSA continues to support improvements in the funding landscape through the Research Software Funders Forum.

Software landscape analysis: This task force updated initial landscaping to include more initiatives from across the globe. Read the 2022 report and blog, and previous results were presented in this blog posted by URSSI, SSI and Netherlands eScience Center in 2020. Help us keep the ReSA list of research software communities up to date by making comments in the spreadsheet.

FAIR 4 Research Software applied the FAIR principles to research software to create the FAIR4RS Principles, which were introduced in this article in Scientific Data and are now being adopted by a range of organisations. This task force was convened in partnership with RDA and FORCE11.

FAIR 4 Research Software Roadmap identified 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 enabled mapping of existing projects that apply 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. Initiatives progressing particular elements of the Roadmap include:

  • 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 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.

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.

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 community consultation facilitated 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 interviewed 28 research software initiatives to identify strategies and programs across the research software community, and determine common issues and priorities.

  • 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

The work of the people who develop and maintain research software is often hidden and needs to be recognised.