publications as code releases

There has been a lot of discussion at CampHogg about how we might publish and get attribution and citation for code. There is the Astrophysics Source Code Library, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but I would like something that is as valuable as a refereed publication. In discussions over lunch today, Foreman-Mackey and I came up with a solution: We have been thinking about how to publish code but we should rather be thinking about how to code-ify publications. That is, we should think of each (relevant) publication as being a code release. That might work well with the current direction of our work, and certainly for Foreman-Mackey's dissertation work. Since we are tool-building, each science publication is backed up by releasable tools, for which those publications will serve as documentation and citation cows. I haven't really worked it all out yet, but this might work. Not much else got done today, except some writing for Mykytyn and some consulting with Ingyin Zaw (NYUAD) regarding maser galaxies.


  1. Astronomy and Astrophysics has a section "numerical methods and codes". A&A is not fully open-access, but is moving in the right direction. This section, however, is: http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=863&Itemid=295 .

    I think the best way to do this is to publish a paper describing the algorithms behind the code (perhaps in the A&A area mentioned above) then make the code available via ASCL, your web page or whatever. Tell people who use the code to cite the paper.

  2. Great ideas in CampHogg.

    Related to this: A number of papers now cite the observatories used to collect the data after the body and before the references as a list in Facilities: Any paper that depends on published codes (ADS can now also give them a unique ASCL number), ought to be listed in there. Interesting tidbit: in the current ASCL listing we already have 2 codes with identical names (if you drop the case)

    A new journal, Astronomy and Computing, is about to come out that caters exactly to the publication of codes and the like.