By releasing software and code you have created and/or developed in your research you are further contributing to the research landscape and making your approach to research more open, transparent, and reproducible. You can also keep track of versions and track download and citation statistics.
In Management of Data and Information in Research, The Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR) states that all versions of research software used or developed must be made available upon request. This has implications for researchers on ARC and NHMRC grants who must comply with ACRCR guidelines. The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) has more information on open software, how it relates to the broader Australian landscape, and further resources.
Source code management
Source code management (SCM) or version control systems are tools that not only allow you to manage your research code, but also enable collaboration and code sharing. There are a number of different version control systems, but Git SCM is one of the most widespread.
Repositories and platforms
There are a number of code repositories that are specifically designed for managing, sharing and collaborating on version controlled software and code. For code, software, and datasets The University of Melbourne uses melbourne.figshare.com, allowing you to apply an open license and mint a DOI, ensuring that people not only have access to your output, but a way of citing your work. From here, you can track how these elements of your research are being used, adapted, and applied.
You can also use repositories such as GitHub and GitLab, or more discipline specific repositories like SocArXiv (social science). A larger list can be found on the Open Research LibGuide.
Digital object identifiers (DOIs) allow other researchers to cite your code and lets you track its reuse. You can register a DOI for your code by depositing it with an open research repository. Once you have a DOI, you may want to include a plain text CITATION file in your code repository that includes information on how you would like your code to be cited. An example of entering a plain text code citation is on the Open Research Library Guide.
For more information on how to make code and software open see the Open Research Library Guide.
The Digital Stewardship (Research) team at Melbourne provides support, services, training, advice, and examples of good practice in data stewardship, digital preservation and research data management planning.