DANS and the Netherlands eScience Center joined forces to more constructively support researchers and scientific programmers when writing and archiving their research software. One of the first practical and visible results of this cooperation is that scientific software is now included in NARCIS, the national information portal of and for the Dutch research community.
Publications are still one of the most important, visible and accessible results of research projects. However, modern, data driven research produces much more than just publications. Data sets, and the software and / or algorithm that are used to convert data into information, are also important end products of the research process. Moreover, to make research transparent and reproducible, both data and software must also be accessible and fit for sharing.
As specialists in the field of data and software respectively, DANS and the Netherlands eScience Center started the “FAIR Software Route” project in 2018. The ultimate goal of this project is an online step-by-step plan that helps scientific software developers to create and store their software in a Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) way.
In the FAIRification process, software and data require different approaches. To promote the findability of research software, the Netherlands eScience Center has developed a content management system for research software. This system, named the Research Software Directory, enables research institutes to publish their research software in an online portfolio. Thanks to the collaboration between DANS and eScience Center, the contents of such portfolios can now be indexed in NARCIS. Besides scientific publications and data sets, NARCIS now also provides an overview of research software produced by both individual researchers as well as research teams. Currently there are already around 100 software packages online in NARCIS.
The final online “FAIR Software Route”, of which the Research Software Directory and the software in NARCIS form an important part, will be presented this autumn by DANS and eScience Center during a joint meeting.
For more information or questions about this joint project, please contact Cees Hof from DANS or Jason Maassen from the Netherlands eScience Center.Please also see the blogof Carlos Martinez-Ortiz from the Netherlands eScience Center on the merits of the Research Software Directory and the connection with NARCIS.