Ten simple rules for writing a paper about scientific software

PLoS Comput Biol. 2020 Nov 12;16(11):e1008390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008390. eCollection 2020 Nov.


Papers describing software are an important part of computational fields of scientific research. These "software papers" are unique in a number of ways, and they require special consideration to improve their impact on the scientific community and their efficacy at conveying important information. Here, we discuss 10 specific rules for writing software papers, covering some of the different scenarios and publication types that might be encountered, and important questions from which all computational researchers would benefit by asking along the way.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Publishing*
  • Research Personnel
  • Software*
  • Writing