Naming scientific software

Go to the profile of Daniel Evanko
Jul 30, 2009
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The editorial in the August issue of Nature Methods discusses an issue that comes up when computational biologists—or anyone else for that matter—wants to report a novel algorithm that biologists may want to use in their research. Specifically, whether or not to supply a named software implementation of their algorithm that biologists can use.

As part of our standard material sharing policy, Nature Methods generally requires that authors provide a useable software program implementing any new algorithm that is integral to a method they’re reporting. But we have never said anything about naming the software.

It recently came to our attention that there are a number of factors that act to discourage authors of new algorithms from naming a software implementation of their algorithm. As discussed in the editorial, this can lead to difficulties later on and in many cases providing a name for the software has benefits that outweigh the potential hazards. Read the editorial and then let us know what you think.

Go to the profile of Daniel Evanko

Daniel Evanko

Editor, Springer Nature

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