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Software for Science

Software for Science: Getting Credit for Code

Date & Time: October 30, 2015 from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

This event was recorded and is now available for viewing.

Software for scientific modeling, simulations, analytics, etc., have become commonplace in many research disciplines, requiring years of effort by scientists and researchers to create and maintain. Yet the scholarly credit system does not reliably recognize this effort and the importance of this type of contribution to scientific progress.

Getting software integrated into the scholarly credit system of publication and citation is an important step towards correcting the problem. At UC Davis, the Software Attribution for Geoscience Applications (SAGA) project has brought together an interdisciplinary team from the Geological, Social, Library, and Computer Sciences to illuminate the technological and cultural barriers to effective software citation. The UC Davis Innovating Communication in Scholarship (ICIS) project is sponsoring a one-day conference to discuss these issues, what the SAGA project is discovering, what publishers and other players are doing, and what needs to happen next.


9:30-10:00 || Registration, Breakfast

10:00-10:30 || Welcome and Overview of Scientific Software Citation Needs and Culture
The use of software in science has become pervasive throughout the research cycle. If we agree that software is critical to research and scholarship, why have we been slow to change our practices and rewards its creation and ongoing development and support? This session will frame the issues and provide an overview of the day.

  • MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian, UC Davis
  • Louise Kellogg, Professor, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Director, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, UC Davis

10:30-12:00 || SAGA project findings: current infrastructure and survey results
The UC Davis SAGA project is exploring the problem of academic credit for software used in the geological sciences. This session will report out on findings for both infrastructure and practices available to projects that generate scientific software, and attitudes about what it needed and possible from a range of stakeholders working in geophysics.
Moderator: MacKenzie Smith, UC Davis


  • Laura Soito, Librarian, University of New Mexico University Libraries
  • Allison Fish, Professor, School of Informatics & Computing, Indiana University
  • Lorraine Hwang, Associate Director, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, Earth & Planetary Sciences, UC Davis

12:00-1:00 || Lunch

1:00-2:30 || Existing Infrastructure & Needs – Credit, Discoverability, and Altmetrics
Several interesting projects have explored this topic over the past few years, involving key organizations like GitHub, CrossRef, PLoS, and Zenodo. This session will describe and discuss those efforts and what we’ve learned from them.
Moderator: Allison Fish, Indiana University


  • Abigail Cabunoc Mayes, Lead Developer, Mozilla Science Lab, Mozilla Foundation
  • Jennifer Lin, Director of Product Management, CrossRef
  • Arfon Smith, Chief Scientist, GitHub (via Skype)

2:30-3:00 pm || Coffee Break

3:00-4:30 || The Emerging Role of Publishers and Information Resource Companies
Clearly progress will be hindered unless publishers and information resource companies are involved in making software count, both as a recognized form of scholarship and as part of the scholarly credit ecosystem (e.g. included in citation databases and metrics systems). This session will focus on how publishers and other companies are thinking about software in relation to publications and other forms of scholarship beyond the research article.
Moderator: Joe Dumit, UC Davis


  • Patricia Brennan, Product Manager, Thomson-Reuters, Web of Science
  • Dan Morgan, Digital Science Publisher, University of California Press and Publisher, Collabra
  • Brooks Hanson, Director, Publication, American Geophysical Union (via Skype)

4:30-5:00 || Summary and Directions
If the first step is to admit we have a problem, what are the next steps we must follow? Where do we want to go from here? Are there specific changes or experiments to be done that would advance things right now? What specific measures can be undertaken? What research needs to be done? The closing session will discuss these questions and develop a plan of action.Location: Student Community Center, Multipurpose Room, UC Davis