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OSTI Developing New DOE Software Center



OSTI is developing a new model for scientific software collaboration, archiving, and dissemination in DOE.  As described by OSTI Director Brian Hitson in a November 2016 OSTIblog, DOE CODE will be a robust, community-focused software management platform for DOE code repositories.  Now in planning and development, DOE CODE will replace OSTI’s current software center, the Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC).  DOE CODE will feature open source, social coding for DOE scientific software that is expected to increase usability and visibility of DOE software packages and encourage research collaboration and learning. 

Since DOE CODE is still under development, if you need to submit, search, or order software, please visit the ESTSC site for instructions.

This reimagining of ESTSC is based on input from DOE researchers across the DOE complex and is being designed to meet their needs.  The development of DOE CODE follows the rise of open source software and the proliferation of social collaboration networks, and it reflects DOE scientists’ support for a more robust community-focused software management system.  OSTI is also soliciting community engagement and input from a wide range of researchers and developers.

Not only will DOE CODE be a best-in-class service for the submission of software, it is expected to provide a platform for interactive, social coding for collaborative authoring and networking capabilities.  It will incorporate social media for sharing and notification systems for software news and updates, as well as links to author profiles.  DOE CODE will seamlessly interface with code repositories such as GitHub, making DOE software more deliverable and citable.  Digital object identifiers (DOIs) will be assigned to the software code so that researchers can more easily cite and locate software and demonstrate their contributions to projects.

DOE CODE has been presented at various conferences, including the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information Technical Activities Coordinating Committee meeting in Denver in September 2016 and Supercomputing 2016 in Salt Lake City in November.  
Prototyping is expected to commence in early 2017.  The DOE CODE resource will be built gradually, improving with user input.  Jay Billings, a software architect at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and active in the open source community, is leading the effort to gather requirements and develop specifications for the DOE CODE architecture.   

As Hitson wrote in his blog about the new DOE software center, “We look forward to this transformation to DOE CODE, and we anticipate many more feature requests and ideas from the community.  We invite and encourage the DOE software community to participate in and contribute to the development of DOE CODE.”  To find out more and/or to offer your suggestions, please reach out to Jay Billings on Twitter (@jayjaybillings) or email (billingsjj@ornl.gov).

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