ESCAPE has finalised the concept note of the ESCAPE Open-source Scientific Software and Service Repository (OSSR), one of the ESCAPE 5 services which will share scientific software and services to the science community and enable open science. The ESCAPE OSSR concept note is an important step in developing a repository as a trusted entry point where researchers (either as user or developer) can safely archive their data, software, documentation and tutorials, for long-term preservation and retrieval, as well as find software through a web portal integrated into the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).
A software repository for Open Science
A sustainable and trusted open-access software repository is necessary to provide scientific software and services to the scientific community to allow them to develop their code in a collaborative environment, publish it respecting the FAIR principles and providing them with the possibility to refer to a stable version of the published software with a DOI. An open-access software repository is one of the needs of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRIs) involved in ESCAPE, which will provide open access to their data, software and science tools to allow reproducibility of science results and the development of open science analyses across domains and infrastructures, necessary for opening the window to multi-messenger and multi-probe research.
Creating a standard workflow and common practices to develop, share and store software and services according to FAIR principles was challenging. This was due to the multitude of development platforms employed by the ESFRIs involved (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket among many others), and all the services that these platforms provide (continuous integration, continuous deployment, continuous delivery, cloud storage, etc.). ESCAPE OSSR was able to converge into more general common practices that will be evolving with time and needs, which satisfy the use-cases of the involved communities.
ESCAPE OSSR development – what lies ahead?
The next steps are mostly related to the integration of the ESCAPE OSSR with the other ESCAPE services, namely the ESCAPE Science Analysis Platform (SAP), thanks to a clear definition of the software metadata and of a workflow to retrieve them.
A landing platform will be developed as the entry point in the future for any researcher looking for software, data, documentation and tutorials, either as a user or as a developer, and to bring together the different ESCAPE services in an integrated environment and provide them with better visibility.
This landing platform will be integrated with the EOSC portal, to maximise long-term sustainability and reach a higher number of individuals focused on making open science a reality in the EU.