Category Archives: weekly update

WE20210918: This week in the ASCL

The main events this past week were finishing up and submitting an article, this for the special issue of PeerJ Computer Science, which I’ve previously mentioned, and prepping for and holding the monthly SciCodes meetings. Unfortunately, our paper was desk-rejected for being out of scope for the journal (yet in scope for the call for papers). This happened very quickly, which gave the author team some time to determine what our options might be and how we would approach considering them before the week was out. The SciCodes meetings went well and I had a great chat with a possible new participant in the consortium; it was a very fruitful conversation. As is common, the week included curation, new entries, social media post scheduling, and correspondence. Sixteen records were curated, some of them the result of scheduling of seven daily code posts, and three new entries were staged. All in all, a busy week, with elation, disappointment, determination, and some whining from the ASCL Central cat, who, poor thing, is going to the kitty dentist on Monday for evaluation before his dental surgery later this month.

WE20210911: This week in the ASCL

Meetings and writing, writing and meetings. Sure, Monday was officially a holiday, but I spent the day mostly on writing tasks; later in the week, the SciCodes team working on a paper met twice for writing sprints and discussion, and I attended the monthly Force11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group meeting. I also met with ASCL founder Robert Nemiroff and ASCL editors Kimberly DuPrie and Catherine Gosmeyer. Peter Teuben, chair of the ASCL’s Advisory Committee, usually attends the editor meetings as well but had a prior commitment. Most of the meeting was spent discussing updates to our procedures and communications; we also talked about upcoming conferences and got caught up on what (and how) we’re all doing. Still, we curated records and sent correspondence, usual tasks most weeks, and Peter submitted the final report for our NASA ADAP project.

image shows that 0.81% of our code records (21 out of 2590) have not been updated since Jaunary 1, 2018. This number is expected to be zero by the end of the year.

WE20210904: This week in the ASCL

August is over, and so is our hiatus from weekly posting. This past week, we added 21 new entries, curated 21 entries, and have so far sent 22 registration notices. Of the 25 codes added to the ASCL in August, seven had been submitted by their authors. We also staged “Today’s random code” social media posts through September 14, and shared a blog post, cross-posted on several other sites including Better Scientific Software, on best practices for entities such as the ASCL. I spent a lot of time this week on a paper that expands on the best practices, this written collaboratively with some of the SciCodes participants, and we expect to submit this paper soon to a special issue of PeerJ Computer Science. I also wrote a final report for our NASA ADAP project that will be submitted this coming week.

WE20210731: This week in the ASCL

Ah, the last week of the month, when most new code entries appear! Thirty codes were added to the ASCL this week; nine of them had been submitted by their authors or a user and the other twenty-one entries were the work of the three ASCL editors.

Yes, users can submit codes, and do! Sometimes they do so because they would like the cite the software and a good way to do so doesn’t already exist. The ASCL ID can be used to cite the code; these citations are picked up and tracked by indexers such as ADS and Web of Science. We welcome code submissions, and after we have assigned an ASCL ID, we send a registration notification email to one or more of the code authors.

In addition to adding/processing new entries and staging a few for future processing, fourteen existing entries were curated, most as a result of our daily random code activity. We’re also always checking our site links, and fixed a few that weren’t working.

I spent a good bit of time on research and writing, too, and participated in a writing sprint, this past week, and will continue these activities this coming week.

WE20210724: This week in the ASCL

Most of my work this week was preparatory and writing related: literature searches and reading. This week’s two SciCodes writing sprints involved a lot of discussion, and now that we’ve hashed out what we want to do and who’s going to do what, we will work mostly independently and meet on Fridays to go over our work together.

While I was busy with article work, other ASCL editors added six code entries to our staging area, and two entries were submitted by code authors. Twelve entries were curated, social media posts were created and published, and there was some technical work, too, to solve a small issue with the ASCL email accounts.

This week, we’ll be concentrating on adding code entries and assigning ASCL IDs.

WE20210717: This week in the ASCL

Advisory Committee Chair Peter Teuben participated in the MODEST-21a AMUSE workshop this past week; he gave a talk on the first day on NEMO and its relation to AMUSE. He also updated the list of codes related to NEMO, including adding ASCL links to the entries that didn’t already have them. Three new code entries were staged, and, perhaps wholly or in part because of Peter’s participation in the AMUSE workshop, six new codes were submitted to the ASCL by their authors. Nine entries were curated, and about a week’s worth of social media posts were scheduled.

SciCodes meetings were this past Thursday, so a good part of my activity this week focused on preparing for that meeting, working on tasks on the SciCodes To Do list, and doing follow-up work after the meeting. We’ve scheduled a couple of writing sprints for a paper we hope to submit to a special issue of PeerJ Computer Science for this next week, and as always, it seems, I am behind on my own writing so plan to work on that this coming week, too.

WE20210710: This week in the ASCL

This week, six notification emails were sent to code authors, fifteen entries were curated, and three new entries were staged. Associate Editor Kimberly DuPrie maintains one of our link checkers and follows up on bad links. We (and by “we,” I mean primarily Kimberly) do a lot to find sites for software that has gone missing from where it used to be, and most weeks, including this one, she writes to one or more code author asking for a good link to replace the bad.

Sometimes, a software author hasn’t realized the code’s site is down; other times, the author has changed institutions, so a previous site has been wiped out. As I’ve mentioned before, we have downloaded archive files of most of the codes listed in the ASCL; we also often download information related to these codes, including the code website’s HTML files and, where they exist, user manuals. This makes it easy for us to provide these artifacts to authors whose code sites have disappeared. Alternatively, we can create an archive file of the code and the additional information we have and offer it for download if a code author prefers to have the ASCL host the code.

Other work this week was getting a bit of collaborative writing finalized, this with SciCodes participants, and talking with Robert Nemiroff on some ideas for the ASCL’s future. I tried to attend the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group monthly call on Tuesday, but my location on that day had no cell service and wifi that was not up to the task of Zoom, alas; fortunately, the notes from the meeting are online.

WE20210703: This week in the ASCL

ASCL editors were busy this week! We added 28 new entries, edited 19, and 5 entries were added to our staging area. Notifications were sent to 34 authors and 13 social media posts were scheduled. Forty codes were added in June, more than in any other month except one, and the June additions post has been written and will appear on Wednesday

WE20210626: This week in the ASCL

A mixed week, with a little of many usual tasks. Seven new entries were put into production; some of these were submitted by authors, and the rest were codes found by editors as part of our usual perusals of astro literature. We search for the software that enables research so you don’t have to! Four staged entries were created and eight entries curated. We also added an article (Toward Long-Term and Archivable Reproducibility) to one of our Resources pages, and had some correspondence — answering questions, exchanging ideas about the ASCL, and discussing recent articles, including the one added to Resources — that is typical for an average week.

Did you notice the link to the ASCL on the June 22 Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) page? It appears at the bottom of the page, just above the link for Tomorrow’s picture.

Partial screenshot of APOD page showing link to ASCL
APOD links to the ASCL periodically. The tie between these two resources is Robert Nemiroff, who co-created APOD with Jerry Bonnell, and co-created the ASCL with John Wallin. This past week, APOD also carried links for the Random APOD Generator that Judy Schmidt wrote, and links to APOD sites in many world languages. Want to know more about APOD? You’re in luck! Nemiroff was a guest on a recent Space Junk podcast, talking about Faster Than Light Phenomena and the Story of APOD; give it a listen!

WE20210619: This week in the ASCL

A busy week! We added four entries to our staging area, curated eighteen entries, finished the correspondence for last month’s additions, and staged thirteen random code posts for our social media sites. This latter task took a ridiculous amount of time this week, as I ran into several entries with issues. The issues that often take the longest to solve are site links that work but no longer go to code sites, or that go to pages that describe code, but have bad links for downloading the software. And this is why “today’s random code” is such an important part of our curation work! We run link checkers (two different ones) regularly, but they don’t catch instances where the link works, but the website has changed and no longer has code information on it.

Some of the curation this past week was through our query program, as described in a previous post. As we showed in our April 10 weekly post, at that time 117 entries had not been curated since the beginning of 2018; we’re now down to 59 entries to look at by the end of this year.




The monthly SciCodes meetings were this past week (one early, one late). The group has selected top priorities out of many possible tasks for collaboration and decided on basic governance. We use these meetings to share our work through monthly presentations, and we now have talks scheduled through the end of the year, except for August! August stands alone.