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NSF is Seeking Proposals for Improving Software and Data Citation

 
NSF_LogoIn a recent letter from the NSF to the Scientific Community, Dan Katz writes that, unlike generally accepted citation-based metrics for papers, software and data citations are not systematically collected or reported. As a result, scientists are not being properly recognized for their work. To mitigate this problem, NSF is seeking proposals that would explore new norms and practices in the research community for software and data citation and attribution.

How scientific research is conducted across all science disciplines is changing. One important direction of change is toward more open science, often driven by projects in which the output is purely digital, i.e., software or data. Scientists and engineers who develop software and generate data for their research spend significant time in the initial development of software or data frameworks, where they focus on the instantiation of a new idea, the widespread use of some infrastructure, or the evaluation of concepts for a new standard. Despite the growing importance of data and software products the effort required for their production is neither recognized nor rewarded. At present there is a lack of well-developed metrics with which to assess the impact and quality of scientific software and data. Unlike generally accepted citation-based metrics for papers, software and data citations are not systematically collected or reported. NSF seeks to explore new norms and practices in the research community for software and data citation and attribution, so that data producers, software and tool developers, and data curators are credited for their contributions.

The Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program and Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program invite collaborative workshop and exploratory research (EAGER) proposals in the following areas:

Citation and attribution:

  • Novel mechanisms for citation of software and datasets as distinct products of scholarship, promoting standards of academic credit and rigor for these cyberinfrastructure components
  • Novel citation methods for new forms of publication and scientific expression so that researchers are able to ensure their work is citable, and others are able to discover and access it
  • Citation patterns that include a role for citations (e.g. to value activities such as “data provider/curator” and/or “software tool provider” alongside “data analyzer” or “computational modeler”), which can help create a credit market for data and software sharing

It is strongly recommended that proposals be collaborative, with investigators from both the social science and cyberinfrastructure communities, including but not limited to: economics, sociology, science of organizations, management science, software infrastructure, data infrastructure, science of team science, science of science and innovation policy, and science, technology, and society.

Proposals are due June 10, 2014.

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