Software Citation

The Software Sustainability Institute, British Library and The Alan Turing Institute are co-organising a workshop on software citation to raise the profile of the topic, provide information and address current challenges.

Learn more Register now Add to Calendar 05/13/2019 01:00 PM 05/14/2019 04:30 PM Europe/London Software Citation Location of the event
Monday 13 May 2019 - Tuesday 14 May 2019
Time: 13:00 - 16:30

Event type


Audience type

Advanced technical


The British Library, The Software Sustainability Institute and The Alan Turing Institute are co-organising a workshop on software citation to raise the profile of the topic, provide information and address current challenges. You must register to attend this event. Please click the register now button above to register for the event.

About the event

Software of some form is now essential to almost all research. Alongside commercial packages, many researchers and research software engineers spend significant time creating and contributing to software, a resource which is currently under-represented in the scholarly record. This creates three key problems.


Firstly, trust in research, particularly scientific research, is reliant on the peer review system but without ready access to the software used to perform a given analysis it is difficult for readers to truly check an article’s validity. Secondly, lack of access to the software underlying research makes it significantly more difficult to build new methods on top of existing ones: it becomes harder and harder to “stand on the shoulders of giants”. Finally, promotion and hiring in academic research is heavily dependent on building a portfolio of well-cited papers, and researchers whose main work is software development often have fewer papers of their own and are named co-authors on fewer than their colleagues.


One way of addressing these issues is by enabling and normalising citation of software. Software citation brings the effort of software development within current model of academic credit, while simultaneously enhancing the scholarly record by linking together software with publications, datasets, methods and other research objects.


This workshop is split over two days; each day is mostly independent and aimed at different audiences. Please note that there is no "all-inclusive ticket type" - make sure you book tickets for each part of the workshop you are interested in.


Day 1

The first day is an afternoon workshop giving a general overview of the purpose and benefits of software citation in the context of academic research. This workshop is aimed at researchers and RSEs, and anyone interested in learning more about software citation. After attending, participants will understand the importance of research software in the scholarly communications ecosystem, and of citing software, and be able to correctly cite the software they use in their own work.


Evening drinks reception and keynote lectureJames Hetherington small

On the evening of Day 1, we will host a reception followed by a public lecture given by Dr. James Hetherington, Director of Research Engineering, titled Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom: perspectives on social credit systems for software scholars. 

Academia is a reputation economy: careers succeed or fail based on a shared perception of the scale of contributions. The Alan Turing Institute is a research institute with a mission both to contribute to scholarship, and to deliver real-world economic and social impact, much of which is realised in software. In this lecture, Dr. James will reflect on life as a “middle author scientist”, consider the contributions to research of those who deliver “too much code and not enough papers”, and consider models for alternative academic careers, and tweaks to the academic system of social credit, which incentivise collaboration and balance scholarship and service.


Day 2

The second part of the event is a full-day workshop focusing on gaining a shared understanding of current barriers to effective use of software citation and starting to develop practical solutions. This part will be aimed at those with responsibility for developing policy, infrastructure, training and guidance in this area, including Research Software Engineers, IT staff, librarians and archivists.

Working collaboratively, the participants will explore the current technical and cultural challenges preventing software citation from becoming a part of mainstream research culture, and identify potential solutions and the stakeholders who may be able to realise them. Based on these discussions, a report for the sector will be produced giving recommendations.

Participants to Day 2 of the workshop should note that there are additional access requirements for the British Library Boardroom which will be emailed to them.

This workshop is organised collaboratively between Giovanni Colavizza, from the Alan Turing Institute, Jez Cope and Frances Madden from the British Library and Neil Chue Hong from the Software Sustainability Institute.


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British Library, Knowledge Centre

The Knowledge Centre is located on the main forecourt outside the main British Library building, at 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

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