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Leiden University Builds Expertise in Research Software Management

FAIR and open source software is supported at Leiden as a critical output of research.

Published onSep 29, 2022
Leiden University Builds Expertise in Research Software Management

Leiden University continues to chart new paths in its commitment to Open Science. Recent efforts in Recognition & Rewards and expanding open research outputs place greater focus on the systemic conditions that accelerate the university’s shift to Open. Along with several surrounding universities, Leiden exemplifies the ways in which the Netherlands is becoming a key leader in the Open movement.

Over the past several months, Leiden has initiated a new area of focus within Open Science: Research Software Management. While research software is well established as a critical output of research projects across academic disciplines, this area of expertise allows the university to better organise and share knowledge on FAIR and open practices to manage research software across the university.

Presently, Leiden is involved in a number of activities to build knowledge and create capacity in Research Software Management. The Software Management Plan Template, Research Software Directory, shared Git environment, and Research Software Community Leiden are initial interventions undertaken by Leiden University to support and enhance the possibilities of open research.

Dan Rudmann at the Open Science Festival in Amsterdam, August 2022

Dan Rudmann recently accepted a position at Leiden University to coordinate Research Software Management as an area of expertise across faculties and institutes. His role is positioned within the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the University Library and the new Digital Competence Centre, which provides opportunity to collaborate with with emerging DCCs across the Netherlands, as well as organisations like The Netherlands eScience Centre and NWO. Such collaborations increase Leiden University’s capacity to support Open Science developments for researchers, including the newly launched Research Software Training NL platform, which creates space for multiple universities to share knowledge on software development for open and FAIR research practices.

The breadth of activities currently undertaken in Research Software Management at Leiden reveal a significant effort to highlight practices in software management that can be shared broadly with researchers to enhance their ability to enact Open Science. This is why on August 31, 2022, at the Open Science Festival, Leiden University along with collaborators at institutions across the Netherlands released the preprint Practical Guide to Software Management Plans. The document serves as a template for people to develop plans and practices around managing their research software at multiple stages of a research project. By opening research outputs and building communities of practice in Open Science, Leiden University hopes to enhance the ability of researchers to produce reusable and collaborative work.

Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

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