Software development best practices for Life Sciences

Biohackathon attendees
Biohackathon 2019, which had a session on software development best practices

The aim of the group is to improve the quality and sustainability of Life Science research software. The group does this by producing and promoting information standards and best practices in software development. 

Beyond the definition and publication of these best practices, the group has produced training material in collaboration with the Carpentries. The “4 Simple recommendations for Open Source Software (4OSS)” lesson has already been successfully used in workshops for training researchers and developers.

We are also developing a software management plan (SMP) template, connected to the guidelines for open research software and the respective metrics. The goal for the SMP is to be a valuable resource for researchers, developers, funders and publishers, towards elevating the quality and sustainability of research software.

Current Programme activities

The work of this group is guided by the ELIXIR Scientific Programme 2019-23. Within this Programme, the group is working to:

  • Consolidate the Software Management Plan (SMP)
    • Make it into a machine-actionable format
    • Create a user-friendly interface
    • Connect it to quality metrics (OpenEBench)
  • Provide training around SMP awareness, user interface, and implementation
  • Implement a “Champions programme”
  • Enable adoption of software development best practices
  • Liaise with industry to promote software development best practices

Resources produced

Other useful resources

External collaborations

We work closely with the following groups outside ELIXIR to align our efforts with the wider global community:

Group Leaders

Eva Martin del Pico
Eva Martín del Pico
(ELIXIR Spain)
Fotis Psomopoulos
Fotis Psomopoulos
(ELIXIR Greece)
Allegra Via
Allegra Via

Mailing list

tools-best-practices [at]