Preservation of software programs: a collaboration is developing between Software Heritage and the CCSD
The CCSD (Centre for Direct Scientific Communication) and Software Heritage have announced their collaboration beginning early 2018: it will enable the data repository in HAL to be extended to software and, as a result, contribute to the recognition of the work of research software developers.
A large proportion of the technical and scientific knowledge developed today lies in software programs. The preservation of this collection of universal knowledge is as essential as the conservation of articles and sets of research data. By building a universal and durable software archive, Software Heritage aims to put in place a vital infrastructure serving society, science and industry. The aim of this project, initiated by Inria, is to collect, organise, preserve and make accessible to all the source code of all available software.
In order to best serve the scientific community, a collaboration between Inria's scientific and technical information service, the CCSD (Centre for Direct Scientific Communication) and Software Heritage has enabled the data repository in HAL to be extended to software. Initially, depositing source code will only take place via the HAL-INRIA portal in order to validate the process. It will then be rolled out to HAL and its portals. The researchers deposit an archive of source code and complete the metadata to describe their deposit. Once the deposit has been validated - and if the researcher wishes for it to be transferred - it is imported into Software Heritage, which generates a unique identifier enabling its traceability - the SWD-ID. The HAL deposit is then updated with this identifier.
It is expected to go into production over the coming months. A poster presenting this new type of deposit is being shown this week at JSO 2018 - 7th Couperin Science Open Days. With this collaboration, HAL is furthering scientific dissemination and the reproducibility of source codes - in particular those used in scientific articles - and is contributing to the recognition of the work of research software developers.
Centre for Direct Scientific Communication (CCSD)
The CCSD serves the researcher community and their institutional environment (research organisations, universities). Its primary mission is to provide - in the spirit of open access - tools for the archiving, circulation and promotion of scientific publications and data. The CCSD has created, develops and manages the HAL open archive, the SciencesConf.org conference management platform and the Episciences.org platform, for the management of epi-journals. It is part of a network of national and international partners, players and operators in the field of scientific and technical information. Created by the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) in 2000, the CCSD has become a joint research institute (UMS3668) bringing together Inria and the University of Lyon. It is a major actor in the French national policy promoting open access.