Research software is critical to supporting science. Between 1998-2016, the NSF made more than 18k awards totaling $9.6 billion related to research software.
Modern research is digital: data & publications are created, analyzed, and stored electronically using tools and methods expressed in software. Much software is developed specifically for research, by researchers. This research software is essential to progress in almost all research fields, but it’s often not developed in an efficient or sustainable way, and knowledge is often locked away in individual laboratories or only shared via method papers that cannot directly be used by others. Researchers who develop software know their disciplines, but often don’t have training and understanding of best practices to ease development & maintainability and to encourage sustainability & reproducibility. And, developers don’t match the diversity of overall society or of user communities.