Checklist to support Helmholtz centers in implementing guidelines for sustainable research software

As the digitization of research and teaching progresses, the number of software solutions created at scientific institutions and used to gain knowledge is increasing. In many disciplines, the accessibility and subsequent use of scientific results – called for under the heading of Open Science – can only be ensured if, in addition to research data, program code is also made openly accessible.

This checklist is aimed at decision-makers in the Helmholtz centers who are concerned with the implementation of guidelines for sustainable research software. It supplements a model guideline ( that already provides the centers with a guiding and reusable template for the creation of regulations for the sustainable use of research software.

Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability 2021 (WoSSS21) (Oct 6-8, 2021) | Software Sustainability Institute

The Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability (WoSSS) series focuses on the topic of software sustainability, particularly on bringing together different research communities and provisions for the long term. 

WoSSS21 will surface key areas of software sustainability in cultural heritage, Open Science & FAIR software, research software and human infrastructures. The workshop will take place online from Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th October 2021. The programme has been curated by our programme committee to cover a broad cross section of software sustainability topics and a diverse mixture of speakers. You can find the full workshop programme at

We would like to invite you to participate in WoSSS21 (registration is now open)! The workshop programme features multiple break out discussion sessions. These sessions will capture the points of view of workshop participants and these will be reflected a final report. The real value of WoSSS is in the contributions by workshop participants. We invite you to join and make WoSSS a success! Please feel free to share this invitation to your network.

WoSSS21 is a free to attend event and you must agree to abide by the participation guidelines – WoSSS aims to be a welcoming and safe workshop environment. WoSSS21 consists of four sessions, two AM and two PM; to help facilitate international participation.

Best Practices for Software Registries and Repositories | FORCE11

“Software is a fundamental element of the scientific process, and cataloguing scientific software is helpful to enable software discoverability. During the years 2019-2020, the Task Force on Best Practices for Software Registries of the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group worked to create Nine Best Practices for Scientific Software Registries and Repositories . In this post, we explain why scientific software registries and repositories are important, why we wanted to create a list of best practices for such registries and repositories, the process we followed, what the best practices include, and what the next steps for this community are….”

LYRASIS 2021 Open Source Software Report: Understanding the Landscape of Open Source Software Support in American Libraries

Abstract:  The LYRASIS open source software (OSS) survey was conducted in spring 2021 as a mechanism to better understand how institutions interact with and support OSS programs. For the purposes of the survey, OSS programs were defined as community-based programs specifically designed for GLAM institutions, such as FOLIO, ArchivesSpace (a LYRASIS supported community), and Omeka. This report provides institutions with an opportunity to see where their efforts fall amongst the activities of their peers in three categories: funding/supporting OSS, justifying OSS, and evaluating OSS. The first section covers how/how much institutions contribute to OSS programs, either through financial contributions or staff time devoted to program contributions/governance. The second section focuses on how institutions justify investment in OSS programs. The final section covers the ways that GLAM institutions determine the qualifications for OSS, their evaluation tactics, and their decision-making about long term OSS maintenance.


Software for Open Science: a leap forward – Software Heritage

On July 4 2018  the first  French national plan for Open Science identified Software Heritage as a key initiative to support software used and produced in research and led to the creation of the working group dedicated to free and open source software inside the french national committee for Open Science.

Ouvrir la Science – On the road to opening up research codes

In November 2018, the Committee for Open Science set up a ‘free and open source software group’, or the GPLO for short.

The creation of this group was based on a simple observation – that software is at the core of research and that open source practices are one of the founding elements of open science. The GPLO’s mission is to help the committee support the development of free and open software in scientific communities as such software is considered to be a pillar of open science.

New feature: built-in citation support in GitHub

Nat Friedman on Twitter:

“We’ve just added built-in citation support to GitHub so researchers and scientists can more easily receive acknowledgments for their contributions to software. Just push a CITATION.cff file and we’ll add a handy widget to the repo sidebar for you. Enjoy!”

Just push a CITATION.cff file and we’ll add a handy widget to the repo sidebar for you.


Julia Reda – GitHub Copilot is not infringing your copyright

GitHub is currently causing a lot of commotion in the Free Software scene with its release of Copilot. Copilot is an artificial intelligence trained on publicly available source code and texts. It produces code suggestions to programmers in real time. Since Copilot also uses the numerous GitHub repositories under copyleft licences such as the GPL as training material, some commentators accuse GitHub of copyright infringement, because Copilot itself is not released under a copyleft licence, but is to be offered as a paid service after a test phase. The controversy touches on several thorny copyright issues at once. What is astonishing about the current debate is that the calls for the broadest possible interpretation of copyright are now coming from within the Free Software community.

FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles) | RDA

“Research software is a fundamental and vital part of research worldwide, yet there remain significant challenges to software productivity, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability. Improving the practice of scholarship is a common goal of the open science, open source software and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) communities, but improving the sharing of research software has not yet been a strong focus of the latter.

To improve the FAIRness of research software, the FAIR for Research Software (FAIR4RS) Working Group has sought to understand how to apply the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship to research software, bringing together existing and new community efforts. Many of the FAIR Guiding Principles can be directly applied to research software by treating software and data as similar digital research objects. However, specific characteristics of software — such as its executability, composite nature, and continuous evolution and versioning — make it necessary to revise and extend the principles.

This document presents the first version of the FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles). It is an outcome of the FAIR for Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG).

The FAIR for Research Software Working Group is jointly convened as an RDA Working Group, FORCE11 Working Group, and Research Software Alliance (ReSA) Task Force.”

Google v. Oracle: Takeaways for Software Preservation, Cultural Heritage, and Fair Use Generally (2021 Reflection) | Software Preservation Network (SPN)

“On April 5, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its opinion on the long-running litigation between Oracle and Google over the reuse of aspects of Oracle’s Java programming framework in Google’s Android mobile operating system. The majority opinion, written by Justice Breyer and joined by five of his fellow justices (Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch), sided with Google, saying its use was lawful because it was protected by fair use. Justice Thomas wrote a dissent, joined only by Justice Alito, arguing that Google’s use was infringing. The newest Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, did not participate in the arguments or decision of the case as it predated her joining the Court. More background on the case can be found in my earlier blog post for SPN summarizing the oral arguments.

Justice Breyer’s opinion is already a landmark for the reasons I laid out there: it is the first Supreme Court opinion to address fair use in nearly thirty years—the last one was Campbell v. Acuff-Rose in 1994. And it is the first Supreme Court opinion to address copyright’s protection for software—ever. And now we know that the opinion will be a milestone for another reason: it is a confident, erudite treatment of the issue by a Justice who has been thinking about copyright and software for more than half a century. As a law professor, Stephen Breyer earned tenure at Harvard based on his 1970 article, “The Uneasy Case for Copyright: A Study of Copyright in Books, Photocopies, and Computer Programs.” The opinion is thus a very happy coincidence: a thorny and consequential issue confronted by a subtle and experienced thinker. The results are quite encouraging for software preservation and for cultural heritage institutions and fair users generally….”

Open Science: read our statement – News – CIVIS – A European Civic University

“CIVIS universities promote the development of new research indicators to complement the conventional indicators for research quality and impact, so as to do justice to open science practices and, going beyond pure bibliometric indicators, to promote also non-bibliometric research products. In particular, the metrics should extend the conventional bibliometric indicators in order to cover new forms of research outputs, such as research data and research software….

Incentives and Rewards for researchers to engage in Open Science activities 

Research career evaluation systems should fully acknowledge open science activities. CIVIS members encourage the inclusion of Open Science practices in their assessment mechanisms for rewards, promotion, and/or tenure, along with the Open Science Career Assessment Matrix….”

Enabling research with Open Software and Data Tickets, Tue 11 May 2021 at 11:00 | Eventbrite

“On the 10 – 14 May 2021, during Open Scholarship Week (OSW2021) staff, students, members of the public and a variety of other stakeholders will come together to talk about changing the ways scholarly information is openly communicated, shared and used. OSW2021 will offer a diverse range of talks and workshops representing many different perspectives and disciplines on Open practices in research and education….”