What is it about?

Our results show that research software documentation doesn't show the big picture. Recommendations don't consider the important role of researchers, who write research software. We also demonstrate that research software always has a history that affects the documentation.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

We found that researchers often don’t know why they’re documenting. The documentation for research software is missing a large picture. This paper defines a new approach for what purpose and what appearance documentation is intended and who has to document what for whom depending on the domain. The paper shows that the purpose of documenting research software is unclear. Until now, the focus has been on research software engineers and users. Here, the researcher who develops features to an existing research software is brought into focus. Open source research has been considered, but a lot of research doesn't take place publicly. Documentation is needed to make sure that research can last.


Documentation is boring and unnecessary at first sight, but you often wish that predecessors had given you a better documented result, then you would have saved a lot of time. Documentation is so unpopular mainly because there are no clear rules about what “good” documentation actually entails.

Sibylle Hermann
Universitat Stuttgart

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Documenting research software in engineering science, Scientific Reports, April 2022, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-10376-9.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page