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Making Your Code Citable

Software development is often an important part of scientific work at TUHH. Many of you use GitLab or GitHub to collaboratively create and share scientific software. But how can you best cite the software then?

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) have become the quasi-standard for referencing electronic publications. So what could be more obvious than using DOIs for software as well? Since 2014, this has been possible thanks to the cooperation between GitHub and Zenodo:

  • Develop on GitLab (internal)
  • Put on GitHub (public)
  • Archive on Zenodo (CERN-hosted)
    → obtain DOI
    → reference DOI in your paper

Zenodo is an open platform for the permanent archiving of research outputs of almost any kind, operated by CERN and funded by the EU and others.

Those who are already active on GitHub can connect an existing repository with Zenodo. This will permanently archive the repository on Zenodo and assign the DOI for the repository. Further releases are also taken care of.

A current example from the Institute of Mathematics at TUHH:

Fabian Gabel, Dennis Gallaun, Julian Großmann, Marko Lindner, & Riko Ukena. (2023). fabiangabel/simulation_aperiodSchr: v.3 (v3.0.0). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7657268


GitHub describes how it works in just under 10 minutes reading time: Making Your Code Citable

Making Your Code Citable · GitHub Guides

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) are the backbone of the academic reference and metrics system. If you're a researcher writing software, this guide will show you how to make the work you share on GitHub citable by archiving one of your GitHub repositories and assigning a DOI with the data archiving tool Zenodo.

ProTip: This tutorial is aimed at researchers who want to cite GitHub repositories in academic literature. Provided you've already set up a GitHub repository, this tutorial can be completed without installing any special software. If you haven't yet created a project on GitHub, start first by uploading your work to a repository.

And three more tips:

  1. Use the TUHH community on Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/communities/tuhh/
    Assignment is also possible at a later date.
  2. Put a CITATION.cff in your repository
  3. Add the ORCID iD (Give credit where credit is due) to the authors.

And worth reading is the practical report from the Institute for Control Systems: Open Access Publishing at TUHH: Exemplary Step-by-step guide for a toolchain with TORE, GitLab, Sherpa Romeo and Zenodo von Patrick Göttsch, Christian Hespe, Adwait Datar, Simon Heinke und Lennart Heeren. tub.torials. 20 May 2022

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