Using Research Software

Generally, a license defines the permitted use of a software. Software without license is protected by copyright and not freely usable.

More information about software licenses:

Overview over existing (Open Source) licenses (gnu.org)

Free Software Directory



Citing Research Software

It is good scientific practice to reveal and cite used results of other researchers. The Software Citation Principles of the FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group help to cite software correctly. According to theses principles, the following information is necessary to appreciate and reuse scientific software:

  • PID (if existing) or link to the location of the software
  • name
  • version
  • authors
  • publication date
  • license
  • dependencies

A software paper should be cited in addition to the software itself, if available and favored by the authors.

The service CiteAs generates a citation from existing metadata.

Further information:

Smith AM, Katz DS, Niemeyer KE, FORCE11 Software Citation Working Group. (2016) Software Citation Principles. PeerJ Computer Science 2:e86. DOI: 10.7717/peerj-cs.86