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How to make research software citable ?

Updated 18th January 2018

vendredi 27 janvier 2017, par Vincent MAGNIN

Developing research soft is a hard task that often lacks recognition in the academic world. But things are slowly changing.

An interesting paper on that subject :
Laura Soito, Lorraine J Hwang, "Citations for Software : Providing Identification, Access and Recognition for Research Software", International Journal of Digital Curation, Vol 11, No 2 (2016), doi:10.2218/ijdc.v11i2.390. http://www.ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/11.2.48/451

The two main solutions are :
1) writing a "software paper" and generally deposit your software in the journal repository,
2) or just obtaining a DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

Publishing a Software paper

This page lists journals where you can publish your software :

If your software is domain specific, you will probably find the suited journal.

if your software is more domain independent (a computing library for example), you can look at :
- the Journal of Open Research Software. A fee is encouraged but not compulsory. Read this author review of this journal.
- Elsevier SoftwareX. Open Access with a 500 USD publication fee.
- Hindawi Scientific Programming. Open Access with a 1750 USD publication fee.
- ...

Obtaining a DOI

- the Journal of Open Source Software. You just fill metadata about the software and the review process concerns only the software. No publication fee. Open Access. You can read "Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) : design and first-year review" published in December 2017.
- the tools proposed by GitHub : https://help.github.com/articles/referencing-and-citing-content/