Image credit: Clive Warneford / CC BY-SA

TL;DR – Read our recommendations to make research software a first-class citizen.

This blog post is also posted here and here.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek is considered the father of microbiology. His discovery of microbes, using the lenses he made himself, created an entire new field of research. He was at the same time a researcher and a tool maker: his research would have not been possible without the tools he built. Leeuwenhoek was well known for both his discoveries in microbiology as well as the unmatched quality of his lenses.

Four centuries after Leeuwenhoek, research tools have only gained importance. Recently, a new type of tool gained critical importance: research software. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has brought up to the public eye how important research software is.

However, research software does not receive the recognition it deserves. A group of members of the NL-RSE network, and software minded data specialists, got together in an attempt to raise the profile of research software. Our position paper provides further details.

Back in March 2019, we had a meeting with NWO about the role of software in research. Following that meeting, we wrote a position paper with recommendations for funding agencies and research institutions to raise the profile of research software. In August 2019 made it publicly available for comments from the RSE community. In November 2019, we also had a feedback session during the NL-RSE conference. The author group got together again in January 2020 to integrate the community feedback. After a long revision process, the “final” version is ready. This paper focuses on the Netherlands, but the issues and recommendations could be adapted and adopted by other countries.

These recommendations have been broadly commented on however if you would like to comment on them feel free to reach out to any of the authors or contact us via the NL-RSE network.