Sustaining Research Software via Research Software Engineers and Professional Associations

2 Mar 2021  ·  Jeffrey C. Carver, Ian A. Cosden, Chris Hill, Sandra Gesing, Daniel S. Katz ·

Research software is a class of software developed to support research. Today a wealth of such software is created daily in universities, government, and commercial research enterprises worldwide. The sustainability of this software faces particular challenges due, at least in part, to the type of people who develop it. These Research Software Engineers (RSEs) face challenges in developing and sustaining software that differ from those faced by the developers of traditional software. As a result, professional associations have begun to provide support, advocacy, and resources for RSEs. These benefits are critical to sustaining RSEs, especially in environments where their contributions are often undervalued and not rewarded. This paper focuses on how professional associations, such as the United States Research Software Engineer Association (US-RSE), can provide this.

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Software Engineering


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