Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Who looks after your software when you've gone?

It's a familiar scenario. A PhD student creates a piece of software during their 3 years of research, it's used for their project but then they leave. What happens to the software? Who looks after it? Who maintains it?

EPSRC have also recognised this problem and have recently awarded £4.2 million to establish the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute (SSI). A team of academics and software engineers based at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester and led by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh will work together to tackle these issues.

Together with the research community they will work to manage software beyond the lifetime of its original funding, so that it is strengthened, adapted and customised to maximise its value to future generations of researchers.

The establishment of the SSI obviously has implications for the NGS as there are many pieces of software out there which could be used by the wider community on the NGS - they just need a bit of TLC!

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