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For many decades software and research software has not been cataloged. If someone said we’ve not cataloged books for the last fifty years you’d think they were crazy — but this is the situation research software has found itself in — with some exceptions. The Software Source Code Identification (SCID) Working Group and its predecessor working groups have been working on ways to identify and cite research software and in effect going forward help create ways to enable cataloging of research software. SCID is looking for feedback on its latest ‘Software Source Code ID’ report — the community feedback deadline 17th August.

A reblog from the FORCE11 website:

We invite the FORCE11 & Research Data Alliance communities to review and comment on the output of our Software Source Code Identification (SCID) Working Group.  This call is part of the open process for endorsement and recognition by both RDA and FORCE11.  This output covers the WG’s use cases and identifier schemes for persistent software source code identification.

Comments are welcome on the
SCID WG’s Google document

Background Information

Software, and in particular source code, plays an important role in science: it is used in all research fields to produce, transform and analyse research data, and is sometimes itself an object of research and/or an output of research.

This output, with inputs from a broad panel of stakeholders, provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art practice in software identification, including use cases and identifier schemes from different academic domains and in industry.


The SCID WG was spawned from discussions both on the RDA’s Software Source Code IG and FORCE11’s Software Citation Implementation WG, recognizing that software is a special kind of object, and that its identification needs to be specifically addressed taking into account the various existing identifier schemes for software.

Our objectives

The goal of this output of the working group is to survey different systems of identifiers for software, and their usage in different use cases, in an harmonized way. We hope that this will provide solid ground on which to build recommendations for the academic community, and help academic and industrial stakeholders to adopt solutions compatible with each other and especially with the software development practice of tens of millions of developers worldwide.

Call for Community Review

This output covers the WG’s use cases and identifier schemes for persistent software source code identification.  Comments are welcome and should be made no later than August 17th 2020, and should be made directly on the Google document that contains the first stable version of the output.

For those that have been ivolved in earlier versions of the document, please notice that this is a different document from the one used by the working group internally. The older document will be accessible for the record, but new comments and edits have been disabled.  We are asking for all new comments to be made to the new Google document.

More information is also available on the group’s RDA website.