FID Mathematik: Maths Beyond Text

Specialised Information Service Mathematics: Maths Beyond Text



Mila Runnwerth


Dr. Gerrit Grenzebach (TIB), Dr. Anna Kasprzik (TIB), Helge Holzmann (L3S)


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – German Research Foundation (DFG)


1 January 2015 – 31 December 2017

To embed mathematical software comprehensibly, sustainably and reproducibly into a scientifical work process, it must be findable and citeable in conventional publications. In our approach, we try to offer information about software—from the version number to downloading its source code (which is often provided by the developers themselves)—via web archives in such a way that this information can be used for publications, e.g. by specifying a DOI.


The FID aims at developing an infrastructure for the/a transregional provision of scientific resources and information services that exceed those that have been available so far and complement them substantially. 


Although it is already natural to use mathematical software for calculations, simulations or visualisations, it is hardly appreciated as a tool or even as a result of scientific work. This is amongst other reasons rooted in the scientifical process of publication, which is based on the textual dispersion of knowledge and opens up merely slowly to non-textual publications like research data, videos or software. To get digital efforts scientifically acknowledged it is necessary that non-textual media are able to be connected to conventional publications and to be cited in a bibliometrically suitable way.

Favoured by good contacts to DataCite, we observe and communicate the current developments towards a standard of citing software. The challenge is to map the software information which is often divided into small sections to the format of bibliographic meta data. To guarantee traceability and reproducibility it is often necessary to give information about the basic conditions of an experiment, e.g. the operation system, compiler, etc. which have not been intended in the previous schema for meta data.


We want to use web archives to integrate and archive software information available in the internet. This information shall be citable via DOI, e.g. Our approach possesses the following supplements to the above-mentioned construction:

  • This software information contains version descriptions, documentations or even source code.
  • The information is archived with time stamps such that version developments or bug fixes can be tracked.
  • Also out-dated links can be reconstructed since they are conserved in a web archive for a long time. 


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