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Collaborative development and openness has seen the industry of software development progress in leaps and bounds. Now, the scientific community is feeling the impact of open software, as it facilitates research advances from cancer to genomics. With this progress comes the challenge of integrating the citation of software into scholarly publications. In this video Q&A Carole Goble, Professor of Computer Science at Manchester University, UK, and Editorial Board member for GigaScience, discusses what this involves and why it is important:


“Citations have two properties: I’m citing it because that was evidence that defends my claim and I’m citing it because that’s where you go get it. These are two separate things in software.”
Carole Goble, University of Manchester


Goble shares her thoughts on how the scientific community can deal with software citation, as well as addressing how open software impacts peer review – just how much responsibility do reviewers have in ensuring software cited is sound?


“It’s one thing to make things open and available – open source, here’s an identifier to it, good luck – and getting the flipping thing to work.”
Carole Goble, University of Manchester


She suggests changes she’d like to see to facilitate the comprehensive peer review of research dependent on open software, highlighting that: “We’ll have to think of how to leverage the one class of reviewers who really can get software to work, which is post docs and PhD students.”

As a co-investigator at the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute, and someone actively engaged in research into the design, development and use of data and knowledge management systems, Goble tell us what she thinks are the top three initiatives researchers should know about for data and source code management.


“Most of the time the software is written by people who are not software engineers and don’t actually know how to make it useful for somebody who isn’t them. That’s the difference between a software engineer and a hacker.”
Carole Goble, University of Manchester


Goble leads the UK’s largest e-Science pilot project, myGrid, and is also co-director of the UK e-Science North West regional centre. Her research encompasses the Semantic Web, medical informatics, e-Science, Grid computing, and bioinformatics.


For more from Carole Goble, view a video Q&A on reproducible research and read what she has to say about the importance of truly open data.


More about the researcher(s)

  • Carole Goble crop_BBSRC

    Carole Goble

    Carole Goble is a professor of computer science at the University of Manchester, UK, where she has co-led the Information Management Group since 1997, carrying out research into the design, development and use of data and knowledge management systems. Goble also leads the myGrid project, the UK’s largest e-Science pilot project that is now part of… Read more »

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