Improving Software Citation and Credit BoF session slides

On Tuesday, October 27, the ASCL held a Birds of a Feather session at ADASS on Improving Software Citation and Credit. The session was opened with a brief presentation by Bruce Berriman, who reported on a Software Publishing Special Interest Group meeting held at the January 2015 AAS meeting and the ongoing work that has come out of that. I followed with a quick overview of other efforts to improve software credit and citation, not just in astronomy but across disciplines, after which Keith Shortridge moderated a lively discussion among the forty people present. The slides Bruce and I presented are now available online.

Previously, we shared resources for the session and the Google doc created during the session to capture some of the main points from the discussion.

Some of the posters, some of the codes

I used to read ADASS posters in part to find new codes to register. I still do that, but it’s harder these days, for reasons that make me very happy: many of the codes are already in the ASCL! Here is a sampling from a quick and definitely not thorough perusal of posters.

CIGALE [ascl:1111.004] and LePHARE [ascl:1108.009]
PySALT [ascl:1207.010]
SoFiA [ascl:1412.001]
Splotch [ascl: 1103.005]
TOPCAT [ascl:1101.010]
Vissage [ascl:1402.001]

It’s lovely to see ADASS folks I’ve met before, and lovely to see codes I already know. It’s also great to meet new people and run across new codes, and I’ll be highlighting some of the new codes added as a result of this ADASS in a future blog post.

Resources for ADASS Birds of a Feather session: Improving software citation and credit

The ASCL has organized a Birds of a Feather session (BoF) at ADASS to discuss improving software citation and credit to be held on Tuesday, October 27; the following links may be helpful for the discussion.

Astronomy software citation examples and ideas (working [Google] document arising from AAS SPSIG discussion)

Astronomy software indexing workshop

Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE)

Force11 Software Citation Working Group (Mission statement, member list, timeline, communications plan, etc. on GitHub)

Center for Open Science‘s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines


Google doc created during the BoF session; anyone with the link can comment.

ASCL poster at ADASS XXV

ASCL poster for ADASS XXVThe Astrophysics Source Code Library, started in 1999, moved to a new infrastructure in 2014 with enhancements developed in response to feedback from users and publishers. With one-click author search, flexible browsing options, and a simple form-based submission process, the ASCL offers a better experience for users. Since the introduction of the new platform in mid-2014, users have submitted nearly 100 codes, more than in all previous years combined. Data sharing options, including the ability to pull all of the resource’s public data in JSON and XML, provide new ways to collaborate with the resource. The ASCL now houses information on more than 1000 codes and its entries are increasingly used for citation, with over 15% of its entries cited, up from 7.5% in January of last year. Exciting opportunities to collaborate have been presented to the ASCL, including participation in the 2nd Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences and a request from the AAS to form a special interest group on software publishing. This presentation will demonstrate the new capabilities of the ASCL and discuss its growth and recent outreach and collaborations.

Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library; G. Bruce Berriman, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology; Kimberly DuPrie, Space Telescope Science Institute/Astrophysics Source Code Library; Jessica Mink, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University; Judy Schmidt, Astrophysics Source Code Library; Lior Shamir, Lawrence Technological University; Keith Shortridge, Australian Astronomical Observatory; Mark Taylor, University of Bristol; Peter Teuben, Astronomy Department, University of Maryland; John Wallin, Middle Tennessee State University

Download poster (PDF)

ASCL Advisory Committee changes

Earlier this month, Robert Hanisch stepped down as an adviser on the ASCL’s Advisory Committee (AC); we are grateful for his service to the ASCL and thank him for his assistance.

Thomas Robitaille from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) has joined the AC. He brings with him a wealth of experience as a software author, having developed Hyperion and APLpy; he’s also work on Glue and AstroPy and other astronomy software. We are delighted to have his input!

Suggest a change or addition to a record

Have you found an error in an ASCL entry? Screenshot of Suggest a change or addition link in code record displayIs there a paper using your code you’d like to add? Would you like to specify right in an ASCL entry how your code should be cited?

We have added a “Suggest a change or addition” link to every code entry in the ASCL. This link brings up a form that is similar to the Submissions form and allows you to not only request changes to fields currently displayed, but also enter information for fields we are considering adding.

For example, we would like to disambiguate the URLs for refereed papers into those that describe a code and those that use a code; we’d also like to add categories to make searching for codes easier.Fields for described in and used in





Does any version of your code have a DOI? That can be added, too.
DOI entry box on changes additions form



Something that’s been on our wish list for a while is a “see also” feature, one that identifies, for a particular code, codes having a similar function or that someone looking at that code would likely be interested in, too. All we need to do this are the data!

September 2015 additions to the ASCL

Ten codes were added to the ASCL in September 2015:

AFR (ASPFitsReader): A pulsar FITS file reader and analysis package
FalconIC: Initial conditions generator for cosmological N-body simulations in Newtonian, Relativistic and Modified theories
FARGO3D: Hydrodynamics/magnetohydrodynamics code
OPERA: Objective Prism Enhanced Reduction Algorithms

Tempo: Pulsar timing data analysis
TRUVOT: True Background Technique for the Swift UVOT Grisms
pycola: N-body COLA method code
PyCS: Python Curve Shifting
XSHPipelineManager: Python Wrapper for the VLT/X-shooter Data Reduction Pipeline

Which journals have citations to ASCL entries…

… and which journals have the most?

citationsbyjournalI had software citations on my mind all last week, as the 3rd Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE3) was held last Monday and Tuesday in Boulder, CO, and I spent a good bit of my time there in the work group for Hacking the credit and citation ecosystem (making it work, or work better, for software). This made me curious as to which journals have citations to ASCL entries, and which have the most citations to ASCL entries. I was pretty sure I knew the answer to the latter, but it’s always good to test what one knows. So I went looking, and this what I found…

These three journals and arXiv hold 84% of citations to ASCL entries:

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
The Astrophysical Journal
ArXiv e-prints
Astronomy and Astrophysics

Other publications with citations to the ASCL include:

The Astronomical Journal
Astronomy and Computing
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology
Computer Physics Communications
Journal of Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics
Journal of Physics Conference Series
Journal of Physics G Nuclear Physics
The Messenger
Physical Review C
Physical Review D
Physical Review Letters
Physics Uspekhi
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica

Proceedings, too, including:

18th European White Dwarf Workshop
19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
Astronomical Society of India Conference Series
Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae VI Conference
EAS Publications Series
IAU Symposium
SF2A-2014: Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series

I appreciate ADS all over again for making it possible to compile this information so quickly.

Months away, but AAS 227 Kissimmee meeting is already software rich!

Already it’s shaping up to be a software maven’s dream AAS meeting, with workshops and Special Sessions focused on expanding your software skills and a Hack Day to put them to use! We’ll have a comprehensive listing closer to the meeting date, but here are the activities already on the schedule, with more to come!

Introduction to Software Carpentry 2 Day Workshop
Astrostatistics and R
Using Python for Astronomical Data Analysis
SciCoder Presents: Developing Larger Software Projects
Bayesian Methods in Astronomy: Hands-on Statistics
Tools and Tips for Better Software (aka Pain Reduction for Code Authors)
Lectures in AstroStatistics
Hack Day

August 2015 additions to the ASCL

Ten codes were added to the ASCL in August 2015:

ColorPro: PSF-corrected aperture-matched photometry
FRELLED: FITS Realtime Explorer of Low Latency in Every Dimension
HMcode: Halo-model matter power spectrum computation
NGMIX: Gaussian mixture models for 2D images
NICOLE: NLTE Stokes Synthesis/Inversion Code

REDUCEME: Long-slit spectroscopic data reduction and analysis
SExSeg: SExtractor segmentation
SHDOM: Spherical Harmonic Discrete Ordinate Method for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer
TreeCorr: Two-point correlation functions
Trilogy: FITS image conversion software