Preserving Software: A collaboration between Software Heritage and the CCSD

Written by Agnès Magron

A large part of the technical and scientific knowledge that is being developed today resides in software. The preservation of this universal body of knowledge has become as essential as preserving research articles and data sets.

By building a universal and long-term archive of source code, Software Heritage aims at setting up a valuable service for the research community. The objectives of this INRIA initiative are to collect, organize, protect, and share to all, the source code of all the available softwares.

To better serve the scientific community, a collaboration between the CCSD and Software Heritage allows the deposit of software in HAL.  At first, the deposit of the source code will be available only in the portal HAL-INRIA to validate the process. It will then be deployed in HAL and the portals.

The researcher submits an archive of the source code and complete its metadatas. Once validated in HAL and if the researcher wants, it is then imported in Software Heritage who attributes a unique identifier to guarantee the traceability.

It is planned to be put in production in the next months. A poster presenting this new type of deposit is presented this week to the JSO2018 – 7èmes journées Science Ouverte Couperin.

With this collaboration, HAL favors the scientific dissemination and the reproducibility of source codes, in particular those used in scientific articles, and contributes to the recognition of the developers’ work for the research.