The FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group has published the results of its review of existing community practices, using a consolidated set of Software Citation Principles (Smith, Katz, Niemeyer, & FORCE11-Software-Citation-Working-Group, 2016) to encourage the adoption of software citation across disciplines.

Supporting citation is part of DataCite’s core mission and this extends to software citation. These new principles will help the research community locate, identify, and cite software as a component of research outputs. Through our members, participating data centres, and our metadata schema, we promote software as a citable research object.

The software citation principles recommend the use of DOIs due to their common usage and acceptance, particularly since they are used extensively for many digital products such as publications. DataCite has assigned more than 15.000 DOIs to software, mainly through Zenodo and its integration with GitHub, and this number has increased exponentially in the last couple of years.


Smith, A., Katz, D., Niemeyer, K., & FORCE11-Software-Citation-Working-Group. (2016). Software citation principles. PeerJ Computer Science.

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Laura Rueda

DataCite Communications Director

Software Citation Principles


© 2016 Laura Rueda. Distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.

datacite, software citation