The importance of software citation

Daniel S. Katz, Neil P. Chue Hong, Tim Clark, August Muench, Shelley Stall, Daina Bouquin, Matthew Cannon, Scott Edmunds, Telli Faez, Patricia Feeney, Martin Fenner, Michael Friedman, Gerry Grenier, Melissa Harrison, Joerg Heber, Adam Leary, Catriona MacCallum, Hollydawn Murray, Erika Pastrana, Katherine PerryDouglas Schuster, Martina Stockhause, Jake Yeston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Software is as integral as a research paper, monograph, or dataset in terms of facilitating the full understanding and dissemination of research. This article provides broadly applicable guidance on software citation for the communities and institutions publishing academic journals and conference proceedings. We expect those communities and institutions to produce versions of this document with software examples and citation styles that are appropriate for their intended audience. This article (and those community-specific versions) are aimed at authors citing software, including software developed by the authors or by others. We also include brief instructions on how software can be made citable, directing readers to more comprehensive guidance published elsewhere. The guidance presented in this article helps to support proper attribution and credit, reproducibility, collaboration and reuse, and encourages building on the work of others to further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Software citation
  • bibliometrics
  • guidelines
  • publishing
  • scholarly communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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