Software Management Plans

Research software plays a crucial role in academic research and has become a key output of many research projects. A software management plan helps to implement best practices during software development and ensures that software is accessible and reusable in the short and longer term. It also contributes to the reproducibility of results and stimulates collaborative work on open-source software for research. 

This guide is the result of a joint initiative by the Netherlands eScience Center and the Dutch
Research Council (NWO)
to develop the (national) practical guide to software management plans
(SMPs), with the help of a working group. This working group – composed of five experts in research software, representing different research organizations in the Netherlands, and roles within those organizations – started their work in December 2021.

Microsoft Teams group picture

An international sounding board, representing national and international stakeholders in research
software, provided input to the working group throughout the process of creating the guidelines.
The working group also received input from the wider research community via a workshop and
an open consultation round.

Practical guide to Software Management Plans 

This initiative resulted in the publication of the Practical guide to Software Management Plans in October 2022. You can read more about the process leading up to the guide in this blog.

Contact us

If you would like to know more about this work, email Maaike de Jong at or Carlos Martinez-Ortiz at

Working Group members

Portrait of a man - Carlos Martinez-Ortiz
Dr. Carlos Martinez-Ortiz
Community Manager
Netherlands eScience Center
Chair of the Working Group
Portrait of a man - Brett G. Olivier
Brett G. Olivier
Data Steward, Research Software Engineer and Systems Biologist
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Portrait of a woman - Paula Martinez Lavanchy
Dr. Paula Martinez Lavanchy
Research Data Officer
TU Delft
Portrait of a man - James Meakin
James Meakin
Lead Research Software Engineer
Radboud UMC
Portrait of a man - Laurents Sesink
Drs. Laurents Sesink
Head Centre for Digital Scholarship
Leiden University

Working Group coordinators

Portrait of a woman
Dr. Maaike de Jong
Community Manager
Netherlands eScience Center
Portrait of a woman
Maria Cruz
Policy Officer
NWO