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Furthermore, the provided links, if any, often become outdated: they are affected by link rot when pre-prints are removed, when repositories are migrated, or when papers and repositories evolve independently.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


GitHub Repositories with Links to Academic Papers: Open Access, Traceability, and Evolution

Authors : Supatsara Wattanakriengkrai, Bodin Chinthanet, Hideaki Hata, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Christoph Treude, Jin Guo, Kenichi Matsumoto

Traceability between published scientific breakthroughs and their implementation is essential, especially in the case of Open Source Software implements bleeding edge science into its code. However, aligning the link between GitHub repositories and academic papers can prove difficult, and the link impact remains unknown.

This paper investigates the role of academic paper references contained in these repositories. We conducted a large-scale study of 20 thousand GitHub repositories to establish prevalence of references to academic papers. We use a mixed-methods approach to identify Open Access (OA), traceability and evolutionary aspects of the links.

Although referencing a paper is not typical, we find that a vast majority of referenced academic papers are OA. In terms of traceability, our analysis revealed that machine learning is the most prevalent topic of repositories. These repositories tend to be affiliated with academic communities. More than half of the papers do not link back to any repository.

A case study of referenced arXiv paper shows that most of these papers are high-impact and influential and do align with academia, referenced by repositories written in different programming languages. From the evolutionary aspect, we find very few changes of papers being referenced and links to them.


From Academia to Software Development: Publication Citations in Source Code Comments

Authors : Akira Inokuchi, Yusuf Sulistyo Nugroho, Fumiaki Konishi, Hideaki Hata, Akito Monden, Kenichi Matsumoto

Academic publications have been evaluated with the impact on research communities based on the number of citations. On the other hand, the impact of academic publications on industry has been rarely studied.

This paper investigates how academic publications contribute to software development by analyzing publication citations in source code comments in open source software repositories.

We propose an automated approach of detecting academic publications based on Named Entity Recognition, and achieve 0.90 in F1 as detection accuracy. We conduct a large-scale study of publication citations with 319,438,977 comments collected from active 25,925 repositories written in seven programming languages.

Our findings indicate that academic publications can be knowledge sources of software development, and there can be potential issues of obsoleting knowledge.