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Research Data Alliance announces Memorandum of Understanding with the Research Software Alliance

The Research Software Alliance (ReSA) and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to clearly announce their intention to coordinate their efforts in areas and activities that involve both research data and software.

ReSA is an international alliance formed in 2018 to address the need for greater international coordination for a research software agenda. ReSA's vision is that research software be recognized and valued as a fundamental and vital component of research worldwide. ReSA brings research software communities together to collaborate on the advancement of research software, to leverage investments and achieve shared long-term goals.

ReSA and RDA are already partnering on initiatives including the FAIR 4 Research Software taskforce. This is being jointly convened by ReSA, RDA, and FORCE11 in recognition of the importance of this work for the advancement of the research sector. The FAIR4RS Working Group will enable coordination of a range of existing community-led discussions on how to define and effectively apply FAIR principles to research software, to achieve adoption of these principles.

Many of the high-level FAIR data principles can be directly applied to research software by treating software and data as similar digital research objects. However, specific characteristics of software - such as its executability, composite nature, and continuous evolution and versioning - make it necessary to revise and extend the original data principles. ReSA are also coordinating the software subgroup contributing guidelines on software for inclusion in the RDA COVID-19 Working Group.

ReSA will become an Organizational Affiliate of RDA, collaborating with the RDA Council and Technical Advisory Board and RDA Organisational Assembly, and may vote in their elections. In turn, RDA will collaborate with ReSA's governing bodies, including providing updates to ReSA on plans and activities that are directly relevant to ReSA members. Both organisations will cross-promote relevant news, activities, and events to their international communities.