Citation and Attribution of Digital Products: Social and Technological Concerns
The pursuit of science increasingly relies on activities that facilitate science but are not currently rewarded or recognized. Of particular concern are the sharing of data; development of common data resources, software, and methodologies; and annotation of data and publications. This situation has been documented in a number of recent reports that focus on changing needs and mechanisms for attribution and citation of digital products, from the use of alternative metrics that track popularity, to work on data.
To promote such activities, we must develop mechanisms for assigning credit, facilitate the appropriate attribution of research outcomes, devise incentives for activities that facilitate research, and allocate funds to maximize return on investment. In this article, I introduce the idea of transitive credit, which addresses the issue of crediting indirect contributions, and discuss potential solutions to these other problems.
(accepted by Workshop on Sustainable Scientific Software: Practice and Experience - WSSSPE, extended version published by Journal of Open Research Software as http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/jors.be)