SpECTRE  v2024.06.18
Publication policies

SpECTRE is an open-source code that is developed and maintained by the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) collaboration. We ask all authors of scientific publications that make use of SpECTRE's code or data to follow the citation guidelines laid out in the section Citing SpECTRE. An additional set of guidelines, laid out in the section Policies that apply to SXS publications applies to publications by members of the SXS collaboration.

Citing SpECTRE

Please cite SpECTRE in any publications that make use of its code or data. Cite the latest version that you use in your publication. The DOI for this version is:

You can cite this BibTeX entry in your publication:

author = "Deppe, Nils and Throwe, William and Kidder, Lawrence E. and Vu,
Nils L. and Nelli, Kyle C. and Armaza, Crist\'obal and Bonilla, Marceline S. and
H\'ebert, Fran\c{c}ois and Kim, Yoonsoo and Kumar, Prayush and Lovelace,
Geoffrey and Macedo, Alexandra and Moxon, Jordan and O'Shea, Eamonn and
Pfeiffer, Harald P. and Scheel, Mark A. and Teukolsky, Saul A. and Wittek,
Nikolas A. and others",
title = "\texttt{SpECTRE v2024.06.18}",
version = "2024.06.18",
publisher = "Zenodo",
doi = "10.5281/zenodo.12098412",
url = "https://spectre-code.org",
howpublished =
license = "MIT",
year = "2024",
month = "6"

To aid reproducibility of your scientific results with SpECTRE, we recommend you keep track of the version(s) you used and report this information in your publication. We also recommend you supply the YAML input files and, if appropriate, any additional C++ code you wrote to compile SpECTRE executables as supplemental material to the publication.

Policies that apply to SXS publications

These policies apply to all "science papers" by members of the SXS collaboration that make use of SpECTRE’s code or data, as defined by the SXS policies.

Our publication policies have the goal that contributions to SpECTRE gain value in academia. For SpECTRE to be successful, it must be worth a junior researcher's time to contribute to the code. Contributions are already partially acknowledged through authorship on the DOI, as laid out in the Metadata.yaml file. However, authorship on the DOI alone doesn’t hold enough value in academia to make code contributions worthwhile that have no immediate science paper associated with them, but that enable science papers down the line. Therefore, our policies have the purpose to grant authorship rights on science papers to the developers of code that enabled them.

Guidelines for SXS paper authors

  • If you're a member of the SXS collaboration and use SpECTRE for your paper, you should probably include a list of SpECTRE developers as co-authors per the SXS policies.
  • To obtain the list of co-authors, reach out to any of the people listed in the SpECTRE core developers team on GitHub. Do this as early as possible, e.g., when you are setting up a paper repository to share early drafts and results with other co-authors. To contact the SpECTRE core developers, use a communication channel of your choice. Here are a few possibilities:
    • Send a message on Slack.
    • Knock on their office door.
    • Send an email to one of the core developers, or to core-devs@spectre-code.org. Possible wording of the email:

‍Dear SpECTRE core devs,

I am / we are preparing a paper on [title or topic]. I am / we are using SpECTRE in this way:

  • [Describe your use of SpECTRE briefly, e.g. as a bulleted list. Mention which parts of SpECTRE you are using in particular, e.g. the initial data solver, the evolution scheme, the wave extraction, etc.]

Claims of the paper:

  • [Summarize the main claims you make in the paper. In particular, does the paper make any claims about physics?]

Please respond with the list of co-authors to include in the paper.

Best regards, [you]

If you already have a draft or outline of your paper available, please feel free to attach it, to give the core developers a better idea of the ways you are using SpECTRE.

The core developers will discuss among themselves, following the guidelines listed below, and will get back to you with a list of co-authors and their contributions. In the spirit of transparency within the collaboration the core developers will also share your description of the paper and the suggested list of co-authors with the spectre-devel@black-holes.org mailing list.

  • Please make the paper draft available to all co-authors as early as possible, e.g, by sharing access to a Git repository. This allows the co-authors to contribute their technical expertise to the SpECTRE-related part of the paper, and it also makes them aware of the ongoing work, in the spirit of transparency and collaboration within SXS.

Guidelines to decide who has authorship rights on SXS science papers that use SpECTRE

  • A contribution to SpECTRE on the order of ~500 lines of code or more should earn you authorship rights on the first science paper that uses the feature. Major contributions, such as writing a full evolution system, earns you authorship rights on the first three science papers that use the feature. "Using the feature" means the code contributes to the result of the paper, either obviously like a new coordinate map in the domain, or in a more subtle way like an optimization that made the simulation run faster.
  • Core developers earn authorship rights to all science papers that use SpECTRE for their infrastructure contributions.
  • In case of controversy, contact any person who you feel comfortable raising your concern with, such as one of the core developers, a member of the executive committee, or the ombudsperson.