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Citing a self-made program


5+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2014
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I made a short python script to generate search strings to ensure consistency throughout a study. How would I cite this program in AMA style? Should I upload it somewhere like GitHub so it is officially published?

Edit: Do I even need to specifically site it?

Questions I never thought I'd have to ask xD
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Gonzalo de Montalvo

El heroe de la villa
2+ Year Member
May 10, 2017
  1. Medical Student
I don't think you need to cite it. I think you say "We developed an in-house script to ..." and then if the journal needs it you upload to GitHub and reference however.

If you really want to though, I do know that you can publish to a GitHub repo and get a DOI so your program is citable, see this link.

Pretty handy IMO. My question is whether or not a piece of software with a DOI counts as a publication on ERAS. I'm going with yes, because it's a piece of work that others can contribute to, reference, etc., but I would probably list it under the "non-published" category or whatever. Also it goes without saying, but in the chance you get a reviewer who knows his software engineering, that you may be asked to make the code more clear, comment it out, etc. Wouldn't want crappy code to be the reason a paper doesn't get pub'ed. And while I do think that all code contributions that are engineered well are worthwhile for the community, if the "short script" is a wrapper for something or is hard-coded or is trivial, I don't think that is necessarily is need of being "published" (again, outside of the journal asking for it).
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