You should first install rse. This will place the executable rse in your bin folder, which is the client for searching software, starting the interface, or otherwise interacting with your software repository.

Getting Started




How does it work?

As we’ve mentioned, the research software encyclopedia is intended to provide a database for you to manage and assess research software. The interaction looks like the following:

                                      |        |
                                  +-->+ zenodo |
                                  |   |        |
                                  |   +--------+                    +--> rse update...
                                  |                                 |
+--------------+    +--------+    |   +--------+    +------------+  +--> rse get...
|              |    |        |    |   |        |    |            |  |
|  rse get...  +--->+ parser +------->+ github |--->| database   +--+--> rse ls...
|              |    |        |    |   |        |    |            |  |
+--------------+    +--------+    |   +--------+    +------------+  +--> rse search...
                                  |       .                         |
                                  |       .                         +--> rse exists...
                                  |   +-------+                     |
                                  |   |       |                     +--> rse start...
                                  +-->+ other |                     |
                                      |       |                     +--> rse annotate...

In the above diagram, we start with a rse get command, where we provide a namespaced identifier (e.g., and it get’s parsed by a particular parser (e.g., github, or zenodo). The parser interacts with our database of choice (filesystem, sqlite, mysql, or postgres) to save custom metadata for the repository, which minimally includes a timestamp it was obtained and a url for it. The user can then query rse to get, list, update, or export a set of software or a particular repository. There is also an interactive web interface to do the same.


The following concepts might not be specific to rse, but are defined as the following in the context of rse:


A parser is a controller to handle taking a uri (unique resource identifier) and returning metadata about the software. Minimally, a url is required to direct a user where to inspect it. The Research Software Encyclopedia uses a set of base parsers (version control systems) as sources of truth, and also provides additional parsers for the user to interact with if desired (e.g., Zenodo).


A scraper is intended to run at some regular interface to update the research software encyclopedia with entries from some external resource.


Is a Flask application that comes with rse, exposed via rse start, that provides an table to manage and otherwise interact with tasks.


Is the process of answering questions about one or more repositories in a software encyclopedia, and also indicating category membership. This can be done interactively in a web interface (under development) or via the command line.


A database is the backend database used by the research software encyclopedia to keep track of your software. The default (and dummy) database is the filesystem. If you want to use a different database backend then you need to install the sqlachemy database dependency and then specify using sqlite for your configuration by doing the following:

$ pip install -e .[all]         # local install from repository
$ pip install -e rse[all]       # install from pypi
$ rse config --database sqlite

Quick Start

A quick example of installing the software and creating a database of research software with two entries from GitHub might look like the following:

$ pip install rse[all]
$ rse init
$ rse add
$ rse ls
1  github/citation-file-format/cff-converter-python
$ rse add
$ rse ls
1  github/citation-file-format/cff-converter-python
2  gitlab/jspaaks/howfairis-livetest
$ tree database
├── github
│   └── citation-file-format
│       └── cff-converter-python
│           └── metadata.json
└── gitlab
    └── jspaaks
        └── howfairis-livetest
            └── metadata.json
$ cat database/github/citation-file-format/cff-converter-python/metadata.json 

And then you might want to look at Annotation or criteria or taxonomy items, Scrapers to automate adding software to your database, or generating a Dashboard for others to explore.


This code is licensed under the Mozilla, version 2.0 or later LICENSE.

You might next want to browse tutorials available.