Research Software Directory

A content management system tailored to research software.

2799 commits | Last update: February 10, 2022

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What Research Software Directory can do for you

  • Improves findability of software packages
  • Includes metadata to help search engines understand what a given software package is about
  • Harvests data from Zotero, Zenodo, GitHub, as well as other sources, and presents software packages within their social and scientific context
  • Promotes dissemination of software
  • Modular system that is meant to be customizable, e.g. with respect to branding, database schemas, an so on
  • Makes scientific impact visible in a qualitative way
  • Helps decision-making based on metrics and graphs
  • Provides metadata via OAI-PMH, the standard protocol for metadata harvesting

The Research Software Directory is a content management system that is tailored to software.

The idea is that institutes for whom research software is an important output, can run their own instance of the Research Software Directory. The system is designed to be flexible enough to allow for different data sources, database schemas, and so on. By default, the Research Software Directory is set up to collect data from GitHub, Zenodo, Zotero, as well as Medium blogs.

For each software package, a product page can be created on the Research Software Directory if the software is deemed useful to others. While the content shown on the product page can be completely customized, by default it includes a Mentions section, which can be used to characterize the context in which the software exists. The context may include links to scientific papers, but is certainly broader than that: for example, there may be links to web applications that demonstrate the use of the software, there may be links to videos on YouTube, tutorials on or Jupyter notebooks, or there may be links to blog posts; really, anything that helps visitors decide if the software could be useful for them.

The Research Software Directory improves findability of software packages, partly because it provides metadata that helps search engines understand what the software is about, but more importantly because of the human centered text snippets that must be provided for each software package. After all, discovery of a software package is often not so much about finding it but knowing that you found it.

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  • Visualization
Programming Language
  • Python
  • TypeScript
  • HTML
  • Shell scripts
  • YAML
  • Apache-2.0
Source code

Participating organizations


NARCIS connects to the Research Software Directory - Software now officially listed as a research output

By Carlos Martinez-Ortiz

October 01, 2019

Read the blog

The Research Software Directory and how it promotes software citation

By Jurriaan H. Spaaks

December 11, 2018

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Research and software: perspectives from different communities

By Netherlands eScience Center

April 13, 2018

Read the blog


  • Jurriaan H. Spaaks
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Tom Klaver
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Tom Bakker
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Vincent van Hees
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • AdriĆ«nne Mendrik
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Jason Maassen
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Lode Kulik
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Lars Ridder
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Willem van Hage
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Laurens Bogaardt
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Stefan Verhoeven
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Faruk Diblen
    Netherlands eScience Center
  • Erik Tjong Kim Sang
    Netherlands eScience Center
Show all contributors
Contact person
Jurriaan H. Spaaks
Netherlands eScience Center

Information for page maintainers

OAI-PMH metadata:
citation metadata: