Writing a software management plan

Details of any software that you plan to create in the course of your research can be included in your main data management plan. However, if you will be creating a large or complex software package, you may find it more helpful to write a dedicated software management plan.

A software management plan covers much the same detail as a more generic data management plan: information on the types of outputs that will be produced, how these will be documented, stored and published, and who is responsible for managing these tasks. You should also include details of the processes and tools that you plan to use to manage version control, and the licences that you will use when publishing your software. Note that open-source licences may not be suitable if you plan to commercially exploit your software. If your work has commercial applications, take our online tutorial on commercialising research data (including software) or contact the RED Commercialisation Team.

You can use DMPOnline to create a software management plan - when selecting your organisation, choose ‘Software Sustainability Institute’ to see the pre-prepared templates for software management plans.

Other resources

For more information on software management plans, see the Software Sustainability Institute guidance.

If you are ready to share your software with the world, there are a number of tools available to help you select an appropriate licence and easily publish your code. See our guidance on managing research software for more information.

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