VERSEN Supports the FAIR Software Initiative

05 Mar 2020

The VERSEN Board has decided to vocally endorse the FAIR Software Initiative and the Five Fair Principles. The FAIR principles are a concept which originated in data management. The acronym stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. They have served as a flagship for promoting good data management practices, but until recently they were not directly applicable to software. We hope that the FAIR principles will have a positive effect in research software development.

The five principles are:

  • use a publicly available repository with version control
  • add a license
  • register your code in a community repository
  • enable software citation
  • use a software quality checklist

Regarding FAIR:

  • these are simple first steps that should help educate researchers that create software about what to do with it. Each step comes with detailed/concrete guidelines to help them on their way.
  • the fair software principles are intentionally not very complete (one step at a time, and the designers have taken care to avoid most subjectivitity around software quality).
  • the initiative lifts purposefully on the "fair principles" for research data and the communities already existent around data analytics; that’s a smart way of putting software quality on the agenda of stakeholders in data analytics (!)
  • endorsed already by NWO, Dans, CWI, SSI, KB, eScience center.  see https://fair-software.nl/endorse

For more information about our endorsement, please contact secretary@versen.nl.