Research software is an eligible REF submission but is rarely submitted.
The systems used to manage the REF at institutions focus on publications and, to some extent, datasets. In our experience these systems can also handle software, but it is not obvious how details of software can be recorded.
We've created the website https://code4ref.github.io to provide guidance to researchers on recording details of their software in a CRIS.
The documentation currently draws on our experiences of the Pure system at St Andrews and the RIS system at Nottingham.
As well as providing guidance to researchers, the website should also help administrators to see how to support the reporting of research software and encourage them to feed back to vendors on how research software can be better supported.
We only have experience of two of the systems currently used in UK HE, we need contributions from others to cover the full range. It is also unclear how customised our reference systems are, so we also need input from other users of those.
Software is still an afterthought when thinking of research outputs. This will go some way to addressing that.
This documentation will facilitate the recording of software produced at an institution, allowing a clearer picture to be developed of the volume and range of software being created.
Encouraging researchers to record details of their software in a CRIS also encourages them to make it openly available and citable.