SIRS Gap Analysis Report

Implementation challenges arrow_forward EOSC interoperability
Implementation challenges arrow_forward Software


The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Scholarly Infrastructures of Research Software (SIRS) report states that software is a necessary component of modern scholarly research and that EOSC has a key role to play, ensuring the overall architecture will be built in a way to cater the needs of the research community best. 

The SIRS report summarises key recommendations and technical requirements for the scholarly ecosystem to provide better functionalities and solutions for researchers, and identifies concrete actions that this Task Force should support in order for scholarly infrastructures to close the gaps and comply with the SIRS recommendations.


The SIRS recommendations stand on four pillars: Archive, Reference, Describe, and Cite research software. The SIRS report includes recommendations on archiving software artifacts, providing or exposing extrinsic and intrinsic identifiers, describing software with metadata, producing reliable citations, and improving the software records’ curation quality across the European Open Science community.

This report reviews existing scholarly infrastructures that cater to research software and identifies the gaps between the EOSC Scholarly Infrastructures of Research Software (SIRS) desiderata and the status quo based on select examples.

Main highlights

While there is a significant uptake of the SIRS recommendations, the development of a viable research software ecosystem in Europe is not currently foreseeable. Unlike the research data landscape, research software infrastructures are lagging behind. While there exists a highly reliable solution for archiving research software source code, not all source code is being adequately archived.

To improve this, policymakers should require proper archiving of software developed in publicly funded projects. Moreover, aggregators and publishers might be incentivized by establishing a certificate that ensures that software deposits are properly archived. Solutions to Reference, Describe, and Cite research software are less mature. Here the difference between research data and research software becomes more apparent. While many communities and institutions have reached a consensus on standards for managing research data and have established clear roles and responsibilities to ensure proper storage, description, referencing, and citation of such data, there is currently a lack of corresponding efforts for research software.

Although most analysed infrastructures possess the technical capabilities to fulfil their roles as outlined in the SIRS reports, only a few are adequately prepared for the curation process in the event that a significant number of researchers deposit software or utilise references to research software.


Key recommendations

This report retraces the gap analysis of the recommendations of the SIRS report over 18 resources which support functionalities for the management of research software.

On the one hand, some infrastructures have already implemented good open science practices, as reported in the ARDC principles. In particular, the archiving, transparency, and openness recommendations have been adopted by most of the infrastructures in our study. On the other hand, recommendations regarding governance, credit, sustainability, and metadata still require significant work for adoption. We need a targeted call to foster the uptake of the ARCD principles in Research Software Engineering communities, and thus close the gap between research data and software.

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