Progress in Software Citation in Scholarly Publishing

I’m excited by this paper: “Recognizing the value of software: a software citation guide [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]” and want to provide some context here (also in a thread of tweets).

This is work by the Journals Task Force, which I lead with a lot of help from Shelley Stall. It’s part of the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group, which I co-lead with Neil Chue Hong and Martin Fenner.

Back in 2015-16, the FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group (co-led by Arfon Smith, me, and Kyle Niemeyer) developed and published a set of Software Citation Principles.

The goal of the Implementation working group is to implement these principles. We’re doing this through general coordination, and a set of task forces.

The first task force, led by Neil Chue Hong, generated checklists for software developers to make their software citable and for paper authors to cite the software they use.

A second task force, led by Martin Fenner, has been working on the metadata for software related to citation, mostly with CodeMeta and

A third task force, led by Alice Allen, has been working on and publishing a set of best practices for research software registries and repositories.

Ok, back to this task force – Our goal is to define and implement a set of practices around software citations in the publishing ecosystem, such as in papers and books.

Part 1 of this is to work with journals (and conferences) on software citations in submitted works, and specifically, what guidance and requirements they give their authors, reviewers, and editors.

Part 2 (being led by Shelley Stall) is what happens in the publishing ecosystem after papers are accepted – how are they encoded, published, and indexed, including how are the software citations handled and handed to indexers.

At this point, we expect publishers, journals, and conferences to update their guidance to their authors, reviewers, editors, and staff based on our guidance, customized for their communities with their style and software examples.

And we hope that this will then push the scholarly community to recognize and acknowledge software more generally, and give developers and maintainers more credit for their software work within in the academic system.

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Chief Scientist at NCSA, Research Associate Professor in CS, ECE, and the iSchool at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; works on systems and tools (aka cyberinfrastructure) and policy related to computational and data-enabled research, primarily in science and engineering

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