Serviceteam RDM@KIT

Research Software

Software is a fundamental part of the research process and essential for the generation of research data and results. At the same time it can be a tool for research as well as a research result. Claims for good scientific practice must therefore also be applied to scientific software and scientific software development. Here you can find a Short Manual for Safeguarding Good Research Software Development. The Helmholtz Task Group Research Software (German only) has prepared a model guideline (German only) for sustainable research software. Its requirements have been incorporated into the KIT guidelines for responsible and sustainable research data management.

A summary of current best practices and license recommendations is provided in the article „An environment for sustainable research software in Germany and beyond: current state, open challenges, and call for action“. In the context of research data management, documentation tools like Electronic Lab Notbooks (ELN) as well as development toolsand environments  such as GitLab and Jupyter Notebooks are particularly relevant.

The SCC provides KIT staff and students with scientific software that is used in education and research.

There is also a DFN mailing list on the subject of software (German only): "Zugang zu und Nachnutzung von wissenschaftlicher Software"

In German-speaking countries there is also the network of Research Software Engineers:


When generating, recording and evaluating research data, the necessary metadata must also be recorded. This documentation plays a central role in ensuring data quality. Ideally, it is carried out automatically at the time of measurement or processing in a standardised form. An ELN can provide support for this as well as in general when it comes to sustainable and collaborative work. ZB MED has published an updated and expanded version of the ELN guide (German only).

Within the framework of a DFG project, the ELN "Chemotion" was developed at KIT, which has a direct repository connection. Chemotion was developed especially for organic chemistry, but is also extended to other fields. The development of further, discipline-specific solutions is pursued.

The service team recommends the use of open source software. This enables a sustainable handling of data. For example, the reproducibility of research processes and results could be affected if the availability of proprietary software is no longer guaranteed (license, service, development, etc.).


If a software product is developed as part of research, GitLab is a useful application for collaborative development and version management. For this purpose, the KIT hosts a designated GitLab instance. Questions about GitLab are answered by the SCC.