How Long Can We Build It? Ensuring Usability of a Scientific Code Base

Authors : Klaus Rechert, Jurek Oberhauser, Rafael Gieschke

Software and in particular source code became an important component of scientific publications and henceforth is now subject of research data management. Maintaining source code such that it remains a usable and a valuable scientific contribution is and remains a huge task.

Not all code contributions can be actively maintained forever. Eventually, there will be a significant backlog of legacy source-code. In this article we analyse the requirements for applying the concept of long-term reusability to source code.

We use simple case study to identify gaps and provide a technical infrastructure based on emulator to support automated builds of historic software in form of source code.

URL : How Long Can We Build It? Ensuring Usability of a Scientific Code Base


Are Research Datasets FAIR in the Long Run?

Authors : Dennis Wehrle, Klaus Rechert

Currently, initiatives in Germany are developing infrastructure to accept and preserve dissertation data together with the dissertation texts (on state level – bwDATA Diss, on federal level – eDissPlus).

In contrast to specialized data repositories, these services will accept data from all kind of research disciplines. To ensure FAIR data principles (Wilkinson et al., 2016), preservation plans are required, because ensuring accessibility, interoperability and re-usability even for a minimum ten year data redemption period can become a major challenge.

Both for longevity and re-usability, file formats matter. In order to ensure access to data, the data’s encoding, i.e. their technical and structural representation in form of file formats, needs to be understood. Hence, due to a fast technical lifecycle, interoperability, re-use and in some cases even accessibility depends on the data’s format and our future ability to parse or render these.

This leads to several practical questions regarding quality assurance, potential access options and necessary future preservation steps. In this paper, we analyze datasets from public repositories and apply a file format based long-term preservation risk model to support workflows and services for non-domain specific data repositories.

URL : Are Research Datasets FAIR in the Long Run?