Conducting geoscientific research today is unthinkable without research software. However, there are different views on the importance of research software and its role in science.
The proposals to improve research software touch on all aspects of academia, such as funding, credit and reward systems, job descriptions and career paths, or evaluation schemes (of papers, people, projects). A growing community of researchers and software developers gather under the umbrella of Research Software Engineering (RSEng) and argue that research software is not merely a by-product of science, but effective and sustainable development of research software needs a skillset and resources beyond current academic education or management plans.
This great debate puts the questions, problems, challenges, and opportunities around research software in geosciences to the center of EGU, as it is a topic that concerns every researcher who uses computers. It features short opening statements by a panel representing the full breadth of stakeholders in science, and continues with a discussion on how to improve the situation for EGU members who work with and on research software:
- Does research software get the attention it deserves in Geosciences?
- How can we better support research software in Geosciences? How does it differ from other tools/equipment we use?
- Does a lack of support for research software lead to bad science in Geosciences?
- What failures can we learn from where research software played a critical role?
- How can (and should?) research software become a first class output across all Geosciences? How can credit be given to it’s authors and contributors?
- What skills and mindset set people who identify as research software engineers apart from “regular researchers”?
- How should the education of researchers include research software?
- What makes research software in Geosciences “good”, “FAIR”, useful, or user friendly? Who is responsible for that?
- What tasks can individual researchers or leaders in scientific communities undertake if they want to positively influence research software?
- Research software and open source - how do these meet? How can communities be built and can they mitigate issues around research software?
Rolf Hut, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Kim Serradell, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain
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