WG/Open Access and Data

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Reproducibility of scientific results is of paramount importance not only for the progress of Science itself, but also for ensuring that the scientific knowledge is properly passed over to future generations. The three main pillars of reproducibility are the scientific articles describing the results, the scientific data, and the source code of the software that is used to handle the scientific data. Remarkably, open access, open data and open source are also three of the six main pillars of Open Science.

The persistent source code archive of Software Heritage provides one of these pillars.

The mission of the OPAD working group is to establish a solid connection with existing and emerging Open Access and Open Data initiatives, and ensure that the software source code developed and used in Science is systematically stored in the Software Heritage archive and referenced in the scientific articles.


This working group is open ended

Expected outcomes

The main expected outcomes are listed below.

Common standards for referencing software artefacts It is essential, for reproducibility, that the reference to the source code be based on persistent and intrinsic unique identifiers, that do not depend on third parties for their resolution and verification.

The OPAD working group will collaborate with the Software Heritage core team and the relevant initiatives in Open Access and Open Data to establish common standards for source code identifiers.

There may be multiple levels of detail provided by source code identifiers, depending on the required level of persistence and reproducibility.

Integration with the publication process Adoption of the common referencing standards depend on the integration of the source code deposit in Software Heritage with the scientific development and the article publication process. The OPAD working group will collaborate with the Software Heritage core team and Open Access and Open Data initiatives to ensure this integration.

Awareness The OPAD working group will establish the relevant connections in order to raise awareness among all the interested parties.

Related initiatives

A popular description of the basic properties expected when handling references to software is available in the Software Citation Principles published in 2016, that led to the Software Citation Implementation Working Group. More recent work has been undertaken in the framework of the RDA Source Code Interest Group, that led to the Joint Force11/RDA Source Code Identification Working Group that produced the report Use cases and Identifier Schemes for persistent software source code identification. A comprehensive view of the global architecture serving the needs of academia can be found in the EOSC report on Scholarly Infrastructures for Research Software, published in December 2020 by the homonimous task force of the EOSC.

Related working groups

The OPAD working group shares concerns with the ELIE, MELD and REOS working groups.

Team contact(s)


Documents produced by the working group will be listed in this section.


Active or planned connections to other initiatives, and activities will be listed in this section.


Mailing list