Source: Reproducible Journey. The Turing Way Community. This illustration is created by Scriberia with The Turing Way community, used under a CC-BY 4.0 licence. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3332807

“Software should be considered a legitimate and citable product of research.”

Software citation principles 

What is research software?

In recent years the use and development of research software by researchers has overwhelmingly increased in many scientific fields. In research fields covering computational sciences and astronomy, research software has always been the main tool to carry out data analysis and modelling, often created by the researchers themselves.

Being an important research output, however, research software doesn’t always receive the recognition it deserves, and the precautions needed to enable its long-term sustainability and maintenance are often neglected. Therefore, in order to create and maintain the quality of research software one needs to follow the best practices to achieve reproducible workflow.

Research Software includes source code files, algorithms, scripts, computational workflows and executables that were created during the research process or for a research purpose. Software components (e.g., operating systems, libraries, dependencies, packages, scripts, etc.) that are used for research but were not created during or with a clear research intent should be considered software in research and not Research Software.


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Martinez-Ortiz, C., Martinez Lavanchy, P., Sesink, L., Olivier, B. G., Meakin, J., de Jong, M., & Cruz, M. (2022). Practical guide to Software Management Plans (0.10). Zenodo.

Last updated: 21/02/2024