Astrophysics Source Code Library

Making codes discoverable since 1999


The ASCL stores information (metadata) about software used in astrophysics research, and in some cases, also stores the software itself to serve to the public. Our public metadata fields and their characteristics are listed and explained below. In addition, for those fields which have an equivalent element in the CodeMeta schema, we provide the translation of the field (crosswalk) into CodeMeta to aid interoperability across research software resources.

ASCL Data Dictionary and CodeMeta Crosswalk

Field name CodeMeta field Displayed/ Inferred name Field type Explanation of the field
ascl_id identifier ASCL ID varchar (8) The human-friendly version of an ASCL id. The format is YYMM.### where YY is the year, MM is the month, and ### is an incrementing integer padded with zeroes. Except for 0000.000, used for entries not yet assigned an ASCL ID, these are unique and can be used to cite the software entry.
title SoftwareSourceCode:name name text The title of the code, usually with a "short" title (alias) to start, followed by a colon and the longer name.
abstract description abstract text A brief description of the code; this is typically three to six sentences that describes what the code does.
credit author:givenName,familyName; author text A normalized list of author names, not serialized.
site_list codeRepository Code site text A serialized array of sites associated with a code, including a download site.
described_in referencePublication Described in text One or more paper(s), usually refereed, in which the code is described ("code paper").
used_in relatedLink:url Used in text One or more paper(s), usually refereed, in which the code is used but not described.
bibcode identifier Bibcode varchar (19) The generated SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) bibcode, which links to the entry's ADS record. NASA's ADS uses bibcodes as unique identifiers for its records.
citation_method citation Preferred citation text Resource(s) that should be used to cite the code; these are determined by the software author(s).
topic_id mediumint (8) The topic id for the code entry's thread on the discussion forum; this is used in the "Discuss" link that, when selected, brings up the thread.
keywords keywords Keywords text Currently, funder and mission designations for software funded by or related to NASA or HITS; these are searchable in ASCL and ADS. Suggestions for expanding use of this field are welcome.
views Views mediumint (8) The number of times an individual code page has been visited.

varchar: character data that varies; that is, it can hold numbers, letters, special characters
text: variable-length character string data values
mediumint: a medium-sized integer

Last update: July 30, 2023