CentresGerman Aerospace Center (DLR)
Contributing organisationsNetherlands eScience Center , University of Manchester
Keywordssoftware citation Citation File Format metadata research software sustainability
Scientific communityResearch Software Engineering, Library and Information Science, Computer Science (Software Engineering), Scholarly Communications
- Software Sustainability Insitute (SSI), UK
- Code for Science & Society, US
- CampusSource e.V., DE
The Citation File Format - making software citation easi(er)
The citation of software is important to enable attribution and credit for developers of research software and reproducibility. In comparison to more traditional research outputs such as papers, software does not inherently provide the necessary metadata to cite it correctly. Therefore it is necessary for software authors to provide these metadata, including software-specific metadata such as version identifiers, source code repositories and license information.
The Citation File Format (CFF) is a community project that provides
a human- and machine-readable format and schema for software citation metadata files (
as well as tools for working with the format.
This way, software authors can supply the relevant metadata for their software,
and both human users and downstream services can use and reuse the respective metadata.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 cff-version: 1.2.0 message: "If you use this software, please cite it as below." authors: - family-names: Druskat given-names: Stephan orcid: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4925-7248 title: "My Research Software" version: 2.0.4 doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1234 date-released: 2021-08-11
The Citation File Format project provides tooling for creating, editing, updating, validating, and converting CFF files in a number of programming languages/technologies. All tools as well as the schema and documentation are published under open licenses.
CFF is supported by several platforms in academia and software development;
CITATION.cff files to render citation information for repositories;
Zenodo - a universal open access repository for digital research artifacts - uses the information in
CFF files to populate record metadata in automated workflows;
Reference managers such as Zotero and JabRef support the import of software citation metadata from CFF files.
The Citation File Format schema is written in JSON Schema.
CFF files instances are implemented in YAML.
As of June 2022, more than 9,000
CITATION.cff files have been created on GitHub alone.
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