Software is increasingly essential in most research, and much of this software is developed specifically for and during research. To make this research software findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), it is critical to define exactly what FAIR means in the context of research software as a living and complex object for which it is impossible to propose one solution that fits all different software products.
Under the auspices of FORCE11, the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and the Research Software Alliance (ReSA), a FAIR for Research Software (FAIR4RS) working group formed to develop a set of FAIR principles for research software – presented in this publication – with a desired follow-on goal of pushing the principles into implementation.