Authors: Daniel S Katz, Sou-Cheng T Choi, Hilmar Lapp, Ketan Maheshwari, Frank Löffler, Matthew Turk, Marcus D Hanwell, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, James Hetherington, James Howison, Shel Swenson, Gabrielle D Allen, Anne C Elster, Bruce Berriman, and Colin Venters
Abstract: Challenges related to development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software for science are becoming a growing concern. Many scientists’ research increasingly depends on the quality and availability of software upon which their works are built. To highlight some of these issues and share experiences, the First Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE1) was held in November 2013 in conjunction with the SC13Conference. The workshop featured keynote presentations and a large number (54) of solicited extended abstracts that were grouped into three themes and presented via panels. A set of collaborative notes of the presentations and discussion was taken during the workshop.
Unique perspectives were captured about issues such as comprehensive documentation, development and deployment practices, software licenses and career paths for developers. Attribution systems that account for evidence of software contribution and impact were also discussed. These include mechanisms such as Digital Object Identifiers, publication of “software papers”, and the use of online systems, for example source code repositories like GitHub. This paper summarizes the issues and shared experiences that were discussed, including cross-cutting issues and use cases. It joins a nascent literature seeking to understand what drives software work in science, and how it is impacted by the reward systems of science. These incentives can determine the extent to which developers are motivated to build software for the long-term, for the use of others, and whether to work collaboratively or separately. It also explores community building, leadership, and dynamics in relation to successful scientific software.WSSSPE1
Keywords: sustainability, software development, policy, career paths
Publication: Journal of Open Research Software, 2(1), p.e6