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Research Software Management Plan

A research software management plan (RSMP) should address the following three main points:

  1. Purpose

What is the current reason or expected end-use for developing the software?

2. Reliability

The effect of software failure and/or non-maintenance on:

  • Risk of harm to self or others. This includes injury, privacy violation, bias, and inappropriate content.
  • Reputation. For example to self, institution or other.
  • Research, either your own or of others. This effect could be due to an obvious software failure (“crash”) or a hidden one, for example, returning inconsistent numerical results on different operating systems.

3. Maintenance

The long-term effort needed to maintain the software as long as it might be used as a standalone tool or dependency. This includes maintenance functions that can extend beyond the lifespan of the original development project and includes fixing bugs, dependency management, operating system compatibility, and security issues.

Using these points three typical management plans (low, medium, high) for three software categories can be used.It should be noted that, in practice, each institution/organisation is responsible for defining its own management plans, and as a software evolves, so does the management plan and its level.

Last modified:13 December 2022 11.59 a.m.