Software citation

Daniel S. Katz, Shelley Stall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nearly all research today has a digital component, and typically, scholarly results are strongly dependent on software. For the research results to be fully understood, the software that is used must be uniquely identified. Research software is frequently developed by researchers themselves, often initially to solve a single problem, and then later generalized to solve additional problems. Ideally, the software is shared so that other researchers can also benefit and avoid the duplicate work required for development and maintenance. The researchers must expect and receive value for their contribution and sharing. Because publishing is a key element of our existing scholarly structures, the research that was done must be clearly explained in papers. This can be used to create incentives for researchers not only to share their software, but also to contribute to community software, in both cases through software citation. Contributors to software that is used in papers and is cited by those papers can become authors of the software as it is tracked by indexes, which also track how often the software is cited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalInformation Services and Use
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation indexing
  • Journals
  • Scholarly publishing
  • Software citation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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