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