Community organizations: Changing the culture in which research software is developed and sustained

Daniel S. Katz, Lois Curfman McInnes, David E. Bernholdt, Abigail Cabunoc Mayes, Neil P.Chue Hong, Jonah Duckles, Sandra Gesing, Michael A. Heroux, Simon Hettrick, Rafael C. Jimenez, Marlon Pierce, Belinda Weaver, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Software is the key crosscutting technology that enables advances in mathematics, computer science, and domain-specific science and engineering to achieve robust simulations and analysis for science, engineering, and other research fields. However, software itself has not traditionally received focused attention from research communities; rather, software has evolved organically and inconsistently, with its development largely as by-products of other initiatives. Moreover, challenges in scientific software are expanding due to disruptive changes in computer hardware, increasing scale and complexity of data, and demands for more complex simulations involving multiphysics, multiscale modeling and outer-loop analysis. In recent years, community members have established a range of grass-roots organizations and projects to address these growing technical and social challenges in software productivity, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability. This article provides an overview of such groups and discusses opportunities to leverage their synergistic activities while nurturing work toward emerging software ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8565942
Pages (from-to)8-24
Number of pages17
JournalComputing in Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • research software
  • scientific software
  • software community culture
  • software ecosystems
  • software productivity
  • software sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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