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Research Software Interest Group

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ANDS and Nectar are facilitating the Research Software Interest Group (previously the Australian Software Citation Interest Group, or ASCIG) which aims to:

  • support the description, management and discovery of research software
  • bring together people who are working in software citation
  • take the FORCE11 principles into a wide range of settings and implementations
  • exchange lessons learned from implementation activities out of this group
  • provide feedback and contribute to the FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group (ongoing Software Citation Implementation Working Group).

The Australian Software Citation Interest Group held BoF sessions at the eResearch Australasia conference in both 2016 and 2017.

If you are working on software citation and interested in joining the group, please contact Mingfang Wu. The group currently meets every eight weeks (by video conference).

Background

Software plays a critical role in modern research, especially in data driven research, where software is developed for cleaning, processing and visualising data. Software is definitely a necessary component for research reproducibility. Thus software should be properly curated in the same way as other research inputs and outputs such as research data and paper publication. Software developers and organisations that sponsor a software development should also be properly credited and attributed.

FORCE11 Software Citation Principles

The FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group has recommended the following six software citation principles:

  1. Importance: Software should be considered a legitimate and citable product of research. Software citations should be accorded the same importance in the scholarly record as citations of other research products, such as publications and data; they should be included in the metadata of the citing work, for example in the reference list of a journal article, and should not be omitted or separated. Software should be cited on the same basis as any other research product such as a paper or a book, that is, authors should cite the appropriate set of software products just as they cite the appropriate set of papers.
  2. Credit and Attribution: Software citations should facilitate giving scholarly credit and normative, legal attribution to all contributors to the software, recognising that a single style or mechanism of attribution may not be applicable to all software.
  3. Unique Identification: A software citation should include a method for identification that is machine actionable, globally unique, interoperable, and recognised by at least a community of the corresponding domain experts, and preferably by general public researchers.
  4. Persistence: Unique identifiers and metadata describing the software and its disposition should persist – even beyond the lifespan of the software they describe.
  5. Accessibility: Software citations should facilitate access to the software itself and to its associated metadata, documentation, data, and other materials necessary for both humans and machines to make informed use of the referenced software.
  6. Specificity: Software citations should facilitate identification of, and access to, the specific version of software that was used. Software identification should be as specific as necessary, such as using version numbers, revision numbers, or variants such as platforms.

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