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SciLifeLab to co-organise international research software funders workshop as part of Open Science efforts in Sweden and beyond

Photo courtesy David Naylor, Uppsala University
Inside the Main University Building in Uppsala

Research in all disciplines have, over the latest decades, become increasingly data-driven. This is especially true for life science research, where big data and increased research computing capacity has allowed for new discoveries, and insights not possible just a decade ago. Ensuring that all research outputs adhere to Open Science and FAIR principles is central to data-driven life science research. This cannot be done without ensuring research software sustainability and recognising research software as an important part of Open Science. This autumn, SciLifeLab will co-organise an international research software funders workshop with the aim of recognising and sustaining research software.

“ReSA is delighted to partner with SciLifeLab for this event. Our two previous funders workshop were co-hosted by other leaders in recognition of research software, the Netherland eScience Center and the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. It is vital to have national advocates for the valuing of research software and those who develop and maintain it, and to maximise collaboration”, says Michelle Barker, Director of the Research Software Alliance (ReSA).

Together with the Research Software Alliance (ReSA)  SciLifeLab will host the 2024 International Research Software Funders Workshop September 9-13 in the University Main Building in Uppsala. The workshop will bring together funders and invited participants from all over the world. The overall aim of the workshop will be to operationalise the Amsterdam Declaration on Funding Research Software Sustainability (ADORE). This declaration, from 2022, was a first step in creating basic principles and recommendations for funding the sustainability of research software and the staff developing and maintaining these.

In Uppsala, the participants will advance the ADORE recommendations and begin to develop a monitoring framework to benchmark how funders are currently supporting sustainability of research software. In addition, the participants will also examine how this monitoring framework will be leveraged by the funders, and the research community.

“SciLifeLab is proud to be co-hosting this international workshop. Recognising and sustaining research software is a critical part of the research process and ensuring that research shared today can be reused in the future. To sustain research software and the people who develop and maintain it is an important element of our FAIR and Open Science efforts. Funders are key stakeholders in this work as they can inform and drive our efforts in developing policies and infrastructure to recognise and support research software.”, says Chris Erdmann, Head of Open Science at SciLifeLab and part of the steering committee.

Today the importance of research software has been recognised by both UNESCOs guidelines for Open Science  and the OECD Recommendation of the OECD Council concerning Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

From Swedish life science perspective, recognising research software as an integral part of Open Science

Open source software facilitates transparency and reuse which supports the advancement of new scientific discoveries. As highlighted in the recently issued National Guidelines for promoting Open Science in Sweden, government bodies and funding organizations bear an obligation to support the shift towards Open Science. This responsibility encompasses the development of policies and conditions related to research funding, as well as efforts to establish and maintain infrastructures for open science. A crucial element of this infrastructure is the accessibility of research software, underscoring its importance in the broader context of Open Science.

Learn more about the workshop here