Science-Software Linkage: The Challenges of Traceability between Scientific Knowledge and Software Artifacts

Authors : Hideaki Hata, Jin L.C. Guo, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Christoph Treude

Although computer science papers are often accompanied by software artifacts, connecting research papers to their software artifacts and vice versa is not always trivial. First of all, there is a lack of well-accepted standards for how such links should be provided.

Furthermore, the provided links, if any, often become outdated: they are affected by link rot when pre-prints are removed, when repositories are migrated, or when papers and repositories evolve independently.

In this paper, we summarize the state of the practice of linking research papers and associated source code, highlighting the recent efforts towards creating and maintaining such links.

We also report on the results of several empirical studies focusing on the relationship between scientific papers and associated software artifacts, and we outline challenges related to traceability and opportunities for overcoming these challenges.