The Astrophysics Source Code Library is a free on-line reference library of astrophysical source codes used to generate results published in or submitted to a refereed journal. The library housed on the discussion forum for Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) at
The library cites three main benefits to astronomers:
“1. Increased Falsifiability
- Perhaps a crucial error was made in the coding of a sound idea. ASCL presents a way for authors to bolster their results by demonstrating the integrity of their source code(s). Conversely, ASCL presents a way for readers to bolster their confidence in published results by checking details of the source code(s).
2. Increased Communication
- Perhaps an author finds it difficult to describe completely in the text of a paper how the results were obtained. ASCL creates a way for authors to present more detailed information about how their computations were carried out.
3. Increased Utility
- Perhaps an author has created a code that (s)he feels is itself useful to other astrophysicists. ASCL creates a way for these authors to disseminate a source code of significant utility to astrophysicists”
To date, over 200 codes have been added to the libary, which provides a description of each code, and links to the source and papers describing it. The library also provides links to a very helpful list of software engineering papers that will be of interest to astronomy developers.
Disclosure: I am a member of the ASCL Advisory Board.