Cultural and Technological Issues and Solutions for Geodynamics Software Citation

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Eric M Heien1, Lorraine Hwang2, Allison E Fish3, MacKenzie Smith3, Joseph Dumit3 and Louise H Kellogg3, (1)University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States, (2)University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States, (3)University of California - Davis, Davis, CA, United States
Computational software and custom-written codes play a key role in scientific research and teaching, providing tools to perform data analysis and forward modeling through numerical computation. However, development of these codes is often hampered by the fact that there is no well-defined way for the authors to receive credit or professional recognition for their work through the standard methods of scientific publication and subsequent citation of the work. This in turn may discourage researchers from publishing their codes or making them easier for other scientists to use. We investigate the issues involved in citing software in a scientific context, and introduce features that should be components of a citation infrastructure, particularly oriented towards the codes and scientific culture in the area of geodynamics research. The codes used in geodynamics are primarily specialized numerical modeling codes for continuum mechanics problems; they may be developed by individual researchers, teams of researchers, geophysicists in collaboration with computational scientists and applied mathematicians, or by coordinated community efforts such as the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics. Some but not all geodynamics codes are open-source. These characteristics are common to many areas of geophysical software development and use. We provide background on the problem of software citation and discuss some of the barriers preventing adoption of such citations, including social/cultural barriers, insufficient technological support infrastructure, and an overall lack of agreement about what a software citation should consist of. We suggest solutions in an initial effort to create a system to support citation of software and promotion of scientific software development.