Research Software Sustainability: The Many Facets From Good Software Engineering Practices To Cultural Change In Academia

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Center for Black Studies Research, South Hall 4603, UCSB

The sustainability of research software has gained increased attention in academia over the last decade. Multiple national and international projects and initiatives are concerned to improve the sustainability of research software and the incentives and career paths for people in academia who deliver research software. The topic has many facets since research software is often still considered a by-product of research and not a factor in career advancement in academia; typical evaluation criteria include publications and citations, successful proposals and funding, and advised and graduated students. Multiple initiatives and projects are trying to improve this situation, e.g., the Society of Research Software Engineering as well as the Virtual Residency. Funding bodies support research computing sustainability with solicitations and projects, e.g., the UK Software Sustainability Institute, the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) and institute conceptualizations such as US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI). Good software engineering practices are one of the concerns to increase sustainability as well as citations of software, proper training of soft skills, and improving career paths for software developers. We have the need of cultural change in academia to incentivize sustainable software development. This talk will go into detail for the facets of research software sustainability and some of the projects addressing the topic.