de-RSE – Research Science Engineers: A New Association in Germany
An interview by GenR with members of the newly forming German association of Research Software Engineers – de-RSE. The association is being formally constituted in late November 2018 (next week 26th Nov., Berlin) and will provide a new support network for the wider software community. Highlights being a summer 2019 conference in Potsdam, and a fellowship programme. The interview is the first in a series of article in GenR’s theme ‘Socializing Infrastructures‘ and we take the opportunity to ask de-RSE for their comments on Open Science infrastructures and ‘software as infrastructure’.
In recent years software has become a legitimate product of research gaining more attention from the scholarly ecosystem than ever before, and researchers feel increasingly the need to cite the software they use or produce. Unfortunately, there is no well established best practice for doing this, and in the citations one sees used quite often ephemeral URLs or other identifiers that offer little or no guarantee that the cited software can be found later on.
But for software to be findable, it must have been preserved in the first place: hence software preservation is actually a prerequisite of software citation.
Software is an important research product. It embeds knowledge. Thus, it should be cited like all other scientific products. But how do you cite the software that you use in your research?
Until a more suitable system for software citation exists, we need to leverage the one in place for papers and books. But finding the metadata needed for citation is usually harder for software than for papers. Therefore authors must provide it visibly and accessibly.