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Call for Papers: Software Citation, Indexing, and Discoverability

Submit now to this PeerJ Computer Science Special Issue investigating the importance of – and best practice for – citing, indexing, and discovering software used as a scholarly research tool.  Submit an Abstract by July 16, 2021.  More information at

Scope of Special Issue

PeerJ Special Edition Call for PapersSoftware is increasingly essential to research. It can be viewed as both a tool to be recorded (for reproducibility) and cited (for credit) as a part of scholarly research works, as well as an output of research that can be used, reused, and further developed. Making this happen effectively leads to challenges in how it is cited, indexed, and discovered. These include challenges relating to: software metadata; identifiers for software and their relationship to those of other research objects; the role of other stakeholders such as indexes, libraries and registries; fostering adoption; development of related tools; and the role of the FAIR principles in this space. This special issue will focus on recent work addressing these challenges. 

Full submissions of accepted abstracts should be completed by August 27th, 2021. Authors that require more time should contact to request an extension.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Recording and translating between metadata schemas for software
  • The generation and curation of metadata for software used in research
  • Understanding the role of and interplay between types of software identifiers
  • Defining and analyzing the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles for research software
  • The role of scholarly (data) libraries in software, and their best practices
  • Uptake of software citation and obstacles
  • Techniques and datasets for identifying citations and references to research software
  • Challenges to including software in scholarly indices (e.g., Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, Microsoft Academic Graph) and surfacing software in research discover and recommendation platforms (e.g., CZI Meta, Faculty Opinions), and potential solutions
  • The role of software in scholarly information systems (e.g., Crossref, Datacite, Scholix, PID Graph)
  • Tools and approaches to improve software discoverability (e.g., catalogs, registries, search engines)

More information

To be considered for this Special Issue, please submit an abstract by July 16, 2021. Abstracts will be assessed for scope by the Special Issue editors, and you will receive an initial decision within 7 days. Full submission instructions will be provided for approved abstracts.  Learn more at

Publication Date: 1st May 2021


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