Publishing CSE Software

CSE software is used to generate many significant results in the scientific literature. The articles that present these results should have a way to acknowledge the work that went into developing the software, ideally via the same citation mechanism used to acknowledge previous articles. At the same time, making software visible to searches of scientific literature will help potential users discover software they may benefit from using. As a community, we are still experimenting with various methods of citing software while trying to keep up with the rapidly accelerating scale, pace, and visibility of scientific software development.


What Is Work on Software Publishing and Citation?

Published March 25, 2019

Contributor Dan Ibanez

Journals that Publish CSE Software

What follows is a short list of journals that specialize, to varying degrees, in presenting a scientific software package as a piece of scientific literature that can be cited by later works. A longer and possibly more up-to-date list from the Software Sustainability Institute that covers a wider range of disciplines can be found here.

  • ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS): This is a well-established journal whose articles often describe novel algorithms and their implementation as mature, usable software products. It has also pioneered policies to improve the reproducibility of published research.
  • ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS): Another well-established journal, which deals more with applications, their impact and results, as well as their methodology (e.g., verification and validation).
  • Archive of Numerical Software (ANS): This journal aims to promote the re-use of high-quality scientific software libraries by publishing articles about application software that is based on these libraries. Authors need to submit a manuscript describing their software. ANS also accepts articles that introduce a new library, which may then form the basis of future application articles.
  • Computing in Science and Engineering (CiSE): A joint publication of the IEEE Computer Society and the American Institure of Physics which is positioned at the intersection of science and computation and tends to publish papers that don't fit comfortably in either the "pure" science or "pure" computer science spaces. It includes peer reviewed papers as well as a number of departments which publish shorted non-peer-reviewed articles. The journal is open to topical special issues as well.
  • The Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS): This journal provides authors with a DOI for their software package without requiring a full-length manuscript. Instead, authors must demonstrate (via a form of peer review) that their package follows certain best practices of open-source software, including proper licensing and documentation, and helps meet scientific research challenges.
  • Journal of Statistical Software (JSS): Like TOMS, but with a focus on software which implements statistical methods rather than other mathematical modeling topics.
  • SoftwareX: An Elsevier journal that aims to ensure software is cited and gets credit in the literature. This journal accepts submissions regarding software that is used in any of a wide range of disciplines, from mathematics to the sciences and humanities.

Moving away from journals that require a manuscript and/or peer review, there are also sites which can provide a DOI for your software with little to no review:

  • Zenodo Like JOSS, Zenodo can provide a DOI for your software. Unlike JOSS, it does not require a review of the software, and can generate a DOI for each release of your package via GitHub integration. Zenodo also allows users to upload data, and obtain a DOI for their data, while also acting as a hosting/distribution platform for others to access that data.
  • FigShare Like Zenodo, figshare can provide a DOI for a snapshot of your software that you upload, although figshare is more commonly used to upload data such that it can also be cited from a journal article that produced or used said data. It is also often used to upload slides and posters in a way that makes them citeable.