The Four Pillars of Research Software Engineering

Jeremy Cohen, Daniel S. Katz, Michelle Barker, Neil P. Chue Hong, Robert Haines, Caroline Jay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract—Building software that can support the huge growth in data and computation required by modern research needs individuals with increasingly specialist skill sets that take time to develop and maintain. The Research Software Engineering movement, which started in the UK and has been built up over recent years, aims to recognise and support these individuals. Why does research software matter to professional software development practitioners outside the research community? Research software can have great impact on the wider world and recent progress means the area can now be considered as a more realistic option for a professional software development career. In this article we present a structure, along with supporting evidence of real-world activities, that defines four elements that we believe are key to providing comprehensive and sustainable support for Research Software Engineering. We also highlight ways that the wider developer community can learn from, and engage with, these activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Software
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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