Data Processing and Analysis

Principles for citing software

In general, any software you use that does not affect your data analysis is not cited (word processors etc). Standard software such as Microsoft Excel is usually not cited either. 

Practice for how to cite software varies in different academic disciplines. You might be expected to cite the software, cite an article describing the software or simply state what version was used in a footnote. 

In medicine and life science, practice is to always cite the article when software is used for analysis.

Advantages of citing software used include:

  • Giving proper credit to the creators
  • Method transparency and increased reproducibility
  • Helping others in finding useful software

According to the method article Recognizing the value of software (2021) the following information should be included when citing software:

  • Creator(s)
  • Title
  • Publication venue
  • Date
  • Identifier (such as DOI, if available)
  • Version (if applicable)
  • Type (if required by the citation style)