Software Citation Implementation in Astronomy

Image: Jupiter’s southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on the outbound leg of a close flyby of the gas-giant planet, 11:31 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2018. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill. See: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA22425

This week’s post is a repost of a summary of a meeting held at the 231st American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, January 2018. The original summary, prepared by Daina Bouquin and Arfon Smith, is on GitHub, and is reproduced here with permission.

Introduction

Software citation is foundationally important to the future of astronomy. Deep intellectual contributions are being made by people creating software to enable scientific research, and it is essential that software creators are encouraged to create these valuable resources. Efforts to help authors receive proper academic credit will allow them to prioritize writing software valuable for the astronomy community within their current profession or the ability to focus their whole career on it. With these facts in mind, on January 11, 2018 a “splinter meeting” was held at the 231st Meeting of the AAS that focused on implementing the FORCE11 Software Citation Principles (Appendix A) in Astronomy.

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Open Science #Barcamp: Software Citation

Image: Barcamp Open Science, Berlin, March 2018. Photo credits: Bettina Ausserhofer. All photos are also published at Wiki Commons under the CC BY 4.0 license.

A report from the barcamp session on software citation at Barcamp Open Science, Berlin, March 2018.

The Barcamp Open Science organized by the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 and hosted by Wikimedia Deutschland was designed as a pre-event before the two day Open Science Conference. The Barcamp offers a space for discussion, for developing new ideas and knowledge exchange on experiences and best practices in Open Science for researchers and practitioners from various backgrounds, with an emphasis on bringing together novices and experts.

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Software Preservation: A Stepping Stone for Software Citation

The Software Heritage archive growth graph (view live on https://www.softwareheritage.org/larchive-software-heritage/)

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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