The advancing development of new methods of examining image, text, and 3D data often requires the programming of specific software. Tools must also be created for the digital presentation of findings. This can include entire software packages, for example, for the management of image databases, or simply individual customizations and modifications to existing programs. To ensure that this software can always be used and further developed, the DFK Paris has made its software developments available under free license.
Research software is an elementary component of the research practice. Along with generic software, such as programs for word processing, the creation of bibliographies, and for image editing, special programs for data collection, management, and analysis are being introduced more and more in art historical research. Occasionally, they require a specific modelling of the examination and thus have a profound impact on the research. On a case-by-case basis, they each require a specific modelling of the examination and consequently have a deep impact on the research. In order for the research to be reproducible, the research software must be just as carefully documented as the research data and made publicly available. Therefore, in addition to the development of exclusively open-source software, the documentation and observance of standards and conventions of research software engineering must be taken into account. In this context, the long-term availability of the program code is a challenge that has yet to be overcome in the sciences as a whole.
The DFK Paris supports scholars who have developed software at the DFK Paris as employees, with the support of a grant, during a guest research visit, or in collaboration with the DFK Paris in the publication of the software and improving its visibility.
For this purpose, the DFK Paris offers the following means of support:
- guidance in finding thematically relevant software repositories in Germany and the host country
- guidance and support in the content-related description of the software with metadata and in licensing (this does not include obtaining rights of use or copyright permission)
- accessibility of research software via the DFK Paris website insofar as it originated in the described context and was published in accordance with the FAIR data principles.
With arthistoricum.net@heiDATA, the SIS arthistoricum.net, as part of its e-publishing offering, has made available a research repository for art history operated by the Competence Centre for Research Data of Heidelberg University. Research data generated at or with the cooperation of the DFK Paris and saved in arthistoricum.net@heiDATA have been summarized and made researchable in a specially designated area, namely the Dataverse des DFK Paris.
Since 2016, the DFK Paris has been developing applications and tools transparently and openly. The source code is published through a public GitHub repository, in which research data has also been stored as it is used for the application. The GitHub account is an offering aimed particularly at the community of research-software engineers.