Have you built a tool to analyse research data? Perhaps you have some unique code or script that is necessary to replicate the findings in your publication. These are considered research software and are viewed as important research outputs. As a result, publishing and sharing software you create means getting recognition for your work.

Publish and share open research software introduces you to the benefits of openly sharing your research software. 

1. Publishing research software

Publishing your research software involves making the software and source code or algorithms available online for reuse, by others, via a public data or software repository. Many journals now ask authors to submit their software along with the manuscript and underlying data.  

Software should be both usable (can be executed) and reusable (can be understood, modified, built upon, or incorporated into other software). The FAIR Principles for Research Software provide guidance on making your software outputs visible.  

Benefits of publishing research software

Making your research software open, discoverable and reusable contributes to open research. It allows you to get credit for your work, whether you are a researcher or a research software engineer.  Benefits of publishing software include: 

  • Improves reproducibility – results can be verified or reproduced without trying to rewrite code based on your publication.
  • Fosters collaboration – potential collaborators can access relevant code or software.
  • Increases transparency – the code is better understood and builds greater trust in the outcomes.
  • Improve reliability – your code will be improved and made more reliable through collaboration. Errors can happen, but sharing code allows others to work with and identify them.
  • Get credit for your work – software or code can be cited like any other research output 
  • More efficient – code preserved in a repository can save you time in the long run. You may want to reuse it or go back to previous work or versions in the future.