Four billion software files are open to all: the Software Heritage archive is finally online!

Software heritage logo title.2048pxOn the Software Heritage archive portal, more than 4 billion files from more than 80 million origins are available since June 7, 2018, date of the official opening ceremony held at the UNESCO, in the presence of sponsors and partners of Software Heritage. 

The Software Heritage archive plays an important role in Open Science: it preserves software source code, ensuring it will be accessible in the long term, and provides intrinsic persistent identifiers for software artefacts that enable not only access, but also verifiable integrity, contributing to making reproducibility and assessment of science more resilient.


Background

It is a well-known fact that software is a research result, but not always treated as such. Nowadays, software is shared and reused exclusively in the developers’ world. Scientists may mention in a few cases a software URL in their article and usually don’t include it in their CV, whereas search engines for scholars do not regard it as a result of science. However, software should be assessed, evaluated, linked to publications, and be part of the scientific reward process for the scientists who created it.
Software Heritage screenshot

How OpenAIRE is involved

OpenAIRE’s work focuses - among others - on the extraction of citations and references to software projects in thousands of scientific open access articles that it indexes, to enrich the metadata about    scientific articles offered in the OpenAIRE portal.

OpenAIRE and Software Heritage work together to enable references and citations to software projects in Software Heritage to become soon visible in the OpenAIRE portal, providing a valuable new tool to the Research Community.

 

Why it is important

This is an important first step towards a full-fledged research software citation, a key issue on which OpenAIRE and Software Heritage will work together with the OpenMinTed project, Codemeta, DOE CODE, and other partners to achieve a common understanding on this delicate and important topic.
Software Heritage is devoted to a mission for the common good, and all contributions are needed and welcome, whether new sponsorsacademic or industry partners and even individual donations.

 

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