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Journal Articles Computing in Science and Engineering Year : 2019

Attributing and Referencing (Research) Software: Best Practices and Outlook from Inria

Abstract

Software is a fundamental pillar of modern scientific research, not only in computer science, but actually across all fields and disciplines. However, there is a lack of adequate means to cite and reference software, for many reasons. An obvious first reason is software authorship, which can range from a single developer to a whole team, and can even vary in time. The panorama is even more complex than that, because many roles can be involved in software development: software architect, coder, debugger, tester, team manager, and so on. Arguably, the researchers who have invented the key algorithms underlying the software can also claim a part of the authorship. And there are many other reasons that make this issue complex. We provide in this paper a contribution to the ongoing efforts to develop proper guidelines and recommendations for software citation, building upon the internal experience of Inria, the French research institute for digital sciences. As a central contribution, we make three key recommendations. (1) We propose a richer taxonomy for software contributions with a qualitative scale. (2) We claim that it is essential to put the human at the heart of the evaluation. And (3) we propose to distinguish citation from reference.
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Dates and versions

hal-02135891 , version 1 (27-05-2019)
hal-02135891 , version 2 (11-11-2019)

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Pierre Alliez, Roberto Di Cosmo, Benjamin Guedj, Alain Girault, Mohand-Said Hacid, et al.. Attributing and Referencing (Research) Software: Best Practices and Outlook from Inria. Computing in Science and Engineering, 2019, pp.1-14. ⟨10.1109/MCSE.2019.2949413⟩. ⟨hal-02135891v2⟩

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