Software Preservation: A Stepping Stone for Software Citation

The Software Heritage archive growth graph (view live on

In recent years software has become a legitimate product of research gaining more attention from the scholarly ecosystem than ever before, and researchers feel increasingly the need to cite the software they use or produce. Unfortunately, there is no well established best practice for doing this, and in the citations one sees used quite often ephemeral URLs or other identifiers that offer little or no guarantee that the cited software can be found later on.

But for software to be findable, it must have been preserved in the first place: hence software preservation is actually a prerequisite of software citation.

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Concrete Advice for FAIR Software

Video screen grab from The Leibniz “Mathematical Modeling and Simulation” (MMS) Days 2018 Leipzig, Feb / Mar 2018. (The video can be viewed at the bottom of the article)

Findability Through Persistent Identifiers

In addition to implementing the FAIR Data Principles for research data there is a need to support the sustainable development, use, and publication of research software. This blog post represents an interim status of the development of these competences.

In addition, it shall introduce a series of articles, which similarly to the already explained FAIR Data Principles for research data (Kraft 2017) will recommend: concrete examples and actions to scientific software projects, summarizes specialist literature (see the bibliography), and also sets goals for our own software projects and those we supports.

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