Software Practice 12 breakout - Tracking usage and impact of software
So#ware reward, cita.on, a0ribu.on Tracking usage and impact Neil Chue Hong, Alberto Di Meglio, Josh Greenberg, Juan Lalinde, Kevin Jorissen
Models of a0ribu.on • Tradi.onal nota.on of cita.ons -‐ authority ﬂows from paper to paper through cita.on chains – Lots of murkiness when it comes to so#ware. – Cita.on is one way of measuring impact but only one. • Papers are completed and published before people “use” them so impact is always downstream – So#ware can be published mul.ple .mes. – You write a paper so someone else can read it. Only ﬁx bugs in pre-‐print. – You dont maintain the paper, you publish new work, papers. – We dont check papers for their dependencies and revise them without new work. • So#ware is more like a long term research project which has many versions (akin to results) • If you create things which are higher quality, have to be rewarded. – Helping out on forums -‐ huge impact, but recogni.on is zero. – Reward for the so#ware itself should be more than the paper that describes it. – Impact of so#ware should be even greater than the impact of a single paper because it provides tools for doing many things.
Ways in which we like to be rewarded • Money – Salary – Prizes • Recogni.on and Respect – Academic – Peers – Public • Achievement of long term pla[orm funding • Promo.on and tenure • Being featured by others • Being curated • Chocolate cake
Ways in which we can measure usage and impact • coun.ng downloads • coun.ng cita.ons on related papers • coun.ng direct cita.ons of so#ware – about box should give a very clear cita.on that can be copied and pasted • coun.ng numbers of licenses granted • pu]ng in constraints asking for updates on usage as part of the licenses • logging usage through checking for updates (e.g. in Zotero) • webanaly.cs techniques • sta.s.cs from so#ware catalogues, marketplaces, science gateways (e.g. in nanoHUB) • We want to measure how people are using the so#ware (not just when they are using it – collect sta.s.cs manually through site administrators registering services at their sites (could be automa.c) – cita.on of so#ware, generate data when its used (version used, authors, size of usage) – number of commi0ers, contributors, par.cipants, vitality of community – surveys, site visits, observa.on of scien.sts in daily rou.ne
Changes to make it easier to track usage and impact of so#ware • Formal way of tracking – DOIs for so#ware? So#ware cita.ons. • So#ware depositories for reproducible papers (e.g. RunMyCode) • Be0er upstream prac.ces e.g. always using networked code repositories • Bu0on in so#ware for "prepare my results and other stuﬀ for publica.on"
What are the biggest issues • changing the culture surrounding the value and importance of so#ware when looking at career progression (stopping the self-‐reinforcing process) • how do you rela.vely value someones contribu.on, and appor.on credit (ar.cula.on of roles?) • do we understand the core community who can judge the value and impact • understanding how to cite so#ware so it can be tracked is diﬃcult
Things we’d like to understand • What’s the model of credit for the impact of so#ware on the work it enables (i.e. what lets you rack up points?) – 1 point every .me a paper cites you or 50 points if a paper that uses you is cited 50 .mes? • Is there a scien.ﬁc community, many scien.ﬁc communi.es? – From which communi.es do people want to get recogni.on, and from whom within the communi.es? • Are there examples where removing the "hierarchical value/weigh.ng" or hyperdiﬀeren.a.ng (extreme diﬀeren.a.on of roles) models of a0ribu.on work well in the world of regular scholarly communica.on? • Should there be a diﬀeren.al weigh.ng of the respect that an individual gives (Tripadvisor model vs "wise ones"/Faculty of the 1000) – Who is important in the community for giving out “respected” rewards? • Can we pick a handful of rela.vely complex pieces of so#ware and ask people involved in the development to assign rela.ve values to each others contribu.ons? Does it change over .me?
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