No one knows how much software is used in research. Look around any lab and you’ll see software — both standard and bespoke — being used by all disciplines and seniorities of researchers. Software is clearly fundamental to research, but we can’t prove this without evidence. And this lack of evidence is the reason why we ran a survey of researchers at 15 Russell Group universities to find out about their software use and background.
The Software Sustainability Institute‘s recent survey of researchers at research-intensive UK universities is out. Headlines figures:
- 92% of academics use research software;
- 69% say that their research would not be practical without it;
- 56% develop their own software (worryingly, 21% have no training in software development);
- 70% of male researchers develop their own software, and only 30% of female researchers do.
For the full story, see the SSI blog post; the survey results described there are based on the responses of 417 researchers selected at random from 15 Russell Group universities, with good representation from across the disciplines, genders and career grades. It represents a statistically significant number of responses that can be used to represent, at the very least, the views of people in research-intensive universities in the UK (the data collected from the survey is available for download and is licensed under a Creative Commons by Attribution licence).