The DataCite Metadata Schema 4.1 has been released today. If the 4.1 release has a theme, it is support for software citation. The DataCite Metadata Working Group addressed this topic in response to increasing interest within the community, including the publication of the Force11 Software Citation Principles (Smith, Katz, Niemeyer, & FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group, 2016) as well as a set of guidelines prepared by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council for working with the DataCite schema (Gent, Jones, & Matthews, 2015).
The 4.1 update is backward compatible and introduces a number of schema and documentation (DataCite Metadata Working Group, 2017) enhancements to make software citation easier and clearer. These include:
- Two new relation types
- (HasVersion, IsVersionOf)
- HasVersion: The registered resource such as a software package or code repository has a versioned instance (indicates A has the instance B) e.g. it may be used to relate an un-versioned code repository to one of its specific software versions.
- IsVersionOf: The registered resource is an instance of a target resource (indicates that A is an instance of B) e.g. it may be used to relate a specific version of a software package to its software code repository.
- (IsRequiredBy, Requires)
- IsRequiredBy: The registered resource such as a software package (A) is required by an identified external resource (B). This maybe used to indicate software dependencies.
- Requires: The registered resource such as a software package (A) requires an identified external resource (B). This may be used to indicate software dependencies.
- Extensive additions and modifications to the documentation, which are provided within the main text of the documentation as well as in a separate, “pull-out” appendix.
While the DataCite metadata schema now supports software registration, and provides properties to include version information for items being registered, it is not to be used as a version control or source code control system. There are many tools widely available that are ideally suited for that purpose. Instead, DataCite facilitates software discovery, sharing and citation.
If you have any specific questions about the new schema please send us a note at .
DataCite Metadata Working Group. (2017). DataCite metadata schema for the publication and citation of research data v4.1. DataCite. https://doi.org/10.5438/0014
Gent, I., Jones, C., & Matthews, B. (2015). Guidelines for persistently identifying software using dataCite. Retrieved from http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/24058274
Smith, A. M., Katz, D. S., Niemeyer, K. E., & FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group. (2016). Software citation principles. PeerJ Computer Science, 2, e86. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.86