Source: Recognition. The Turing Way Community, & Scriberia. (2021). Illustrations from The Turing Way: Shared under CC-BY 4.0 for reuse. Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5706310

Creating a CITATION file for your software

The FORCE11 software citation principles include the recommendation that software packages include a CITATION file along with other README files that documents exactly how the authors of the software would like to be cited by others. This ensures that users of the package know what information to include in their citations and makes citations of the code more likely, increasing the credit that you receive.

Software citation files lets you provide citation metadata, for software or datasets, in plaintext files that are easy to read by both humans and machines.


Citation files should include:

  • Author(s)  in the order you would like them to be credited.
  • Title of the software package or code.
  • Link to the location where the code can be downloaded.
  • DOI if you have created one, or other unique identifier.
  • Version number.
  • Release date.

A citation file can also include contributor roles and the software license. Also consider including a BibTeX citation and the citation of any associated publications.


For more information and assistance, contact Documentation Centre and Library.


Citing & publishing software: Publishing research software (MIT Libraries)

Last updated: 21/02/2024