Excellence in Research Software
The Eureka Prize for Excellence in Research Software is presented by the Australian Research Data Commons.
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The Australian Research Data Commons Eureka Prize for Excellence in Research Software is awarded for the development, maintenance or extension of software that has enabled significant new scientific research.
Entries must specifically address how the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”) entered meets the following assessment criteria:
Scope and engagement (40%)
- Identify the community of software users and describe the breadth, diversity, and depth of the community.
- Provide evidence of the uptake and ongoing use of the software, including timeframes (month and year).
- Explain how the software has been designed and updated for straightforward, stable, and continued use.
Scientific rigour, originality, and significance (20%)
Describe how the software activity adopts robust and relevant research methods, theories and/or models.
Impact and benefit (40%)
- Describe the impact this software activity has had on a community of users and how this community conducts research (academic or otherwise).
- Describe the economic, societal and/or environmental outcomes enabled by this software activity.
Prize specific conditions of entry
This prize is open to individuals and teams if the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”) is the result of a collaborative team effort. The team may be a succession of contributors to a software activity over a period of time, possibly under the direction of one or more project leads.
For team entries:
- For entries comprised of between two and six individuals, you will need to decide upon one Team Leader to administer the entry, however you must describe the contribution of each individual to the software activity and explain why the Eureka Prize should be jointly awarded. This explanation should be included in the ‘Activity Summary.’
- For entries involving more than six individuals, you will need to decide upon one Team Leader to administer the entry and enter using a team name. You will not have the opportunity to formally list all individuals involved in the entry.
The software activity entered for this prize must have been referenced in at least one peer-reviewed article (i.e., published in a scientific journal or similar). This reference must have appeared more than three (3) years prior to the Entry Deadline. For this reason, entrants are required to nominate development activity that occurred prior to this publication. That development activity can either be towards a release or version of the software, or a specific contribution to a large multi-contributor project. Please note, within the entry materials it is expected that more recent software maintenance activities will also be included in order to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the maintenance of the software.
Software activities may vary in size and scope. Judges will assess the impact and benefit of the development activity relative to the time it was first published. Evidence of the use and impact of the software on research outcomes should come from any time after the publication of the software development activity and will be judged relative to the time it was published.
For the purpose of this prize, ‘research software’ refers to software that has been built for, and used predominantly in, the conduct of research. This research may occur in a broad array of sectors, including, but not limited to, academia, public sector, industry and/or citizen science.
The software activity put forward for this prize can come in many forms including applications, tools, utilities, frameworks or libraries designed to be broadly used for the research purposes, and usually run locally. Or, it may be available as a service, for instance available via a website or web API. It may be open or closed source, free or commercially available.
Category specific conditions of entry – all Research and Innovation Eureka Prizes
Entrants can either enter themselves or be nominated by others. If an entrant is nominated it is important that they have the opportunity to provide input to the documentation in support of their nomination.
For an individual entry, the entrant must be a) an Australian citizen, b) an Australian permanent resident or c) a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia or its territories, at the time the software development activity entered was undertaken.
For a team entry of up to six individuals, the team leader must be either a) an Australian citizen, b) an Australian permanent resident, or c) a New Zealand citizen who was resident in Australia or its territories, at the time the software development activity entered was undertaken. Members of the team do not have to fulfil these requirements; however, they must have resided predominantly in Australia or its territories at the time the software development activity entered was undertaken.
For a team entry involving more than six individuals, you will need to decide upon a team name and one team leader. The Team leader must be either a) an Australian citizen, b) an Australian permanent resident, or c) a New Zealand citizen who was resident in Australia or its territories, at the time the software development activity entered was undertaken. Members of the team do not have to fulfil these requirements; however, they must have resided predominantly in Australia or its territories at the time the activity entered was undertaken.
The development of the software must have been undertaken in Australia or its territories, as defined by the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Terms and Conditions.
For both individual and team entrants, work undertaken to maintain the software may have been undertaken in Australia or elsewhere in the world.
The activity entered or nominated for this prize may not be entered or nominated for another Australian Museum Eureka Prize in the same year.
A project that has been awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize in the past cannot be entered again. Non-winning finalist activity is eligible for re-entry, so long as it meets all other conditions of entry.
In addition to the prize and category specific conditions of entry, all entrants need to comply with the General Terms and Conditions of Entry.
Each entry must include the following information. All information provided will be used by the judging panel to assess the activity entered against the assessment criteria.
[2 pages (maximum); 2cm margins (minimum); Size 11 font (minimum)]
A statement by the nominator or entrant that provides an overview of the software development and maintenance activity (“the software activity”). Key dates (month, year) must be included to demonstrate that the development activity entered has been undertaken more than three (3) years prior to the Entry Deadline. The statement should address:
- Software activity title
- Team contribution, when relevant. For team entries composed of between two (2) and six (6) individuals, describe the contribution of each individual to the software activity and explain why the Eureka Prize should be jointly awarded.
- Nature of entered software activity:
- Individual contribution to a multi-contributor project (e.g., pull requests) and corresponding functionality or
- a release (specific version) to be considered and corresponding functionality
- Evidence that connects use of the nominated software activity to a research outcome. List the three (3) pieces of evidence to be uploaded under ‘Section 5. Evidence.’ Please provide a brief summary of the evidence including name, type, and place of publication; date; and authorship.
Response to assessment criteria
[2 pages (maximum); 2cm margins (minimum); Size 11 font (minimum)]
A statement by the nominator or entrant on how the software activity entered addresses each of the assessment criterion. Key dates (month and year) must be included to demonstrate that the development activity entered has been undertaken more than three (3) years prior to the Entry Deadline and that maintenance activity is ongoing (even if not undertaken by entrants).
[Report must be prepared using the template provided]
One (1) statement from an assessor on how the software activity addresses each of the assessment criteria. Judges rely on assessor reports to provide an additional perspective and informed opinion on the activity entered, therefore the assessor should not be personally or directly involved in the development or maintenance of the software. The assessor does not need to be an active user of the software.
[Testimonials must be prepared using the template provided]
Two (2) personal testimonials from well versed and committed users of the software, describing their experiences and engagement with the software project. Judges rely on testimonials to provide an additional perspective and informed opinion on the software activity entered, therefore the testimonials must be prepared by users. They may not come from an individual who has solely observed use of the software. People writing the testimonials (and assessor report) should be selected from a variety of different organisations. Testimonials must be prepared using the template provided.
It is common that the most committed users also make contributions to open-source projects. This could be writing code or documentation, providing feedback (for example, bug reports, feature requests), or assisting the community of users (for example, via a support forum). Testimonials may come from committed users like this but must not come from project contributors who developed or maintained the software.
Upload three (3) pieces of evidence to demonstrate the successful use of the software in the conduct of research. This evidence should connect to the specific nominated software development and maintenance activity.
At least one piece of evidence must be an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal (or similar). This article must have appeared more than three (3) years prior to the Entry Deadline.
Other forms of evidence may include media articles, blog posts, grant applications or other written materials referencing the use of the software. These pieces of evidence do not need to have been produced within a specific timeframe.
For each piece of evidence highlight the specific passage(s) and/or identify the page number(s) where the software is referenced.
How to Enter
- Review prize information
- Register an account
- Start online entry form from Monday 13 February 2023 (save it in-progress)
- Submit online entry form, including entry materials listed above, by the Entry Deadline, 7pm AEST Friday 14 April 2023. Late entries will not be accepted.