Software plays a central role in everyday research to generate, manage and use research data. Often, however, the software used is not simple standard software, but has complex dependencies, is itself a product of research and indispensable for its reproduction and understanding.
Under the title "Managing Research Software", SimTech, the DINI/nestor-AG Research Data and the DFG project ReSUS organized a joint workshop on these topics at the University of Stuttgart in mid-September.
The approximately 80 participants addressed the fundamental question of how research software can be designed sustainably, both on site and online: How can research software be developed and maintained in such a way that it can be used in the long term? What does a sustainable infrastructure look like that both supports the current researchers and enables subsequent use? Can organizational and content-related concepts of research data management be usefully transferred to research software, or are new approaches and competencies required? The hybrid workshop brought together participants from various German research associations who addressed these questions from the perspective of infrastructure and research during the two days of the workshop.
The interaction between infrastructure and research is very important for research software such as control software for instruments, codes in numerical simulations or analysis syntax for statistical data.
"Both infrastructure and research deal with research software, but each from a different perspective. SimTech, with its focus on simulations, deals with research software in so many different contexts and is already working in projects with NFDI, SFBs and colleagues from infrastructure. We were able to bring this experience to the workshop," emphasizes Sibylle Herrmann.
The University of Stuttgart is already strongly positioned in the field of research software with a wide variety of projects, also with SimTech participation. And this not only in the organization of events such as this one or the 2021 workshop on "Research Data Management in Large Research Associations", but also in the operational business of research data management. There is also a great deal of interlocking between the workshop organizers SimTech, ReSUS, and DINI. For example, Sibylle Herrmann is not only a SimTech Data and Software Steward but also a member of the steering committee of the DINI/nestor research data working group. ReSUS, in turn, is a joint DFG-LIS project of Stuttgart University Library and the Institute for Architecture of Application Systems.
"The workshop primarily serves the exchange among each other. This is clearly the focus. Particulalry the exchange between the participants, who work at a wide variety of scientific institutions and have to deal with research software, and often across disciplines. This is where different requirements, needs, but also experiences come together, which are to be brought together in this workshop" also confirms Johannes Kästner, member of the SimTech board of directors and deputy director of the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, in his welcoming address.
The workshop "Managing Research Software" is a continuation of the workshop "Data and Software Management in Large Research Associations", which took place in 2021 and dealt with the current status and future of research data management and research software development in large DFG-funded associations such as clusters of excellence and collaborative research centers.