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Software Metadata Extraction Framework (SOMEF)

Documentation Status Python PyPI DOI Binder Project Status: Active – The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed.


A command line interface for automatically extracting relevant metadata from code repositories (readme, configuration files, documentation, etc.).

Demo: See a demo running somef as a service, through the SOMEF-Vider tool.

Authors: Daniel Garijo, Allen Mao, Miguel Ángel García Delgado, Haripriya Dharmala, Vedant Diwanji, Jiaying Wang, Aidan Kelley, Jenifer Tabita Ciuciu-Kiss and Luca Angheluta.


Given a readme file (or a GitHub/Gitlab repository) SOMEF will extract the following categories (if present), listed in alphabetical order:

  • Acknowledgement: Text acknowledging funding sources or contributors
  • Application domain: The application domain of the repository. Current supported domains include: Astrophisics, Audio, Computer vision, Graphs, Natural language processing, Reinforcement learning, Semantc web, Sequential. Domains are not mutually exclusive. These domains have been extracted from awesome lists and Papers with code. Find more information in our documentation
  • Citation: Preferred citation as the authors have stated in their readme file. SOMEF recognizes Bibtex, Citation File Format files and other means by which authors cite their papers (e.g., by in-text citation)
  • Code of Conduct: Link to the code of conduct of the project
  • Code repository: Link to the GitHub/GitLab repository used for the extraction
  • Contact: Contact person responsible for maintaining a software component
  • Contribution guidelines: Text indicating how to contribute to this code repository
  • Contributors: Contributors to a software component
  • Creation date: Date when the repository was created
  • Description: A description of what the software does
  • DockerFile: Build file(s) to create a Docker image for the target software
  • Documentation: Where to find additional documentation about a software component
  • Download URL: URL where to download the target software (typically the installer, package or a tarball to a stable version)
  • DOI: Digital Object Identifier associated with the software (if any). DOIs associated with publications will also be detected.
  • Executable examples: Jupyter notebooks ready for execution (e.g., files, or through myBinder/colab links)
  • FAQ: Frequently asked questions about a software component
  • Forks count: Number of forks of the project
  • Forks url: Links to forks made of the project
  • Full name: Name + owner (owner/name)
  • Full title: If the repository is a short name, we will attempt to extract the longer version of the repository name
  • Images: Images used to illustrate the software component
  • Installation instructions: A set of instructions that indicate how to install a target repository
  • Invocation: Execution command(s) needed to run a scientific software component
  • Issue tracker: Link where to open issues for the target repository
  • Keywords: set of terms used to commonly identify a software component
  • License: License and usage terms of a software component
  • Logo: Main logo used to represent the target software component
  • Name: Name identifying a software component
  • Ontologies: URL and path to the ontology files present in the repository
  • Owner: Name of the user or organization in charge of the repository
  • Owner type: Type of the owner, user or organization, of the repository
  • Package distribution: Links to package sites like pypi in case the repository has a package available.
  • Programming languages: Languages used in the repository
  • Related papers: URL to possible related papers within the repository stated within the readme file (from Arxiv)
  • Releases (GitHub only): Pointer to the available versions of a software component. For each release, somef will track its description, author, name, date of publication, date of creation, the link to the html page of the release, the id of the release and a link to the tarball zip and code of the release
  • Repository Status: Repository status as it is described in
  • Requirements: Pre-requisites and dependencies needed to execute a software component
  • Support: Guidelines and links of where to obtain support for a software component
  • Stargazers count: Total number of stargazers of the project
  • Scripts: Snippets of code contained in the repository
  • Support channels: Help channels one can use to get support about the target software component
  • Usage examples: Assumptions and considerations recorded by the authors when executing a software component, or examples on how to use it
  • Workflows: URL and path to the workflow files present in the repository

We use different supervised classifiers, header analysis, regular expressions and the GitHub/Gitlab API to retrieve all these fields (more than one technique may be used for each field). Each extraction records its provenance, with the confidence and technique used on each step. For more information check the output format description


See full documentation at


Journal publication (preferred):

    author = {Kelley, Aidan and Garijo, Daniel},
    title = "{A Framework for Creating Knowledge Graphs of Scientific Software Metadata}",
    journal = {Quantitative Science Studies},
    pages = {1-37},
    year = {2021},
    month = {11},
    issn = {2641-3337},
    doi = {10.1162/qss_a_00167},
    url = {},
    eprint = {\_a\_00167/1971225/qss\_a\_00167.pdf},

Conference publication (first):

author={A. {Mao} and D. {Garijo} and S. {Fakhraei}},
booktitle={2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data)},
title={SoMEF: A Framework for Capturing Scientific Software Metadata from its Documentation},


  • Python 3.9 or Python 3.10 (default version support)

SOMEF has been tested on Unix, MacOS and Windows Microsoft operating systems.

If you face any issues when installing SOMEF, please make sure you have installed the following packages: build-essential, libssl-dev, libffi-dev and python3-dev.

Install from Pypi

SOMEF is available in Pypi! To install it just type:

pip install somef

Install from GitHub

To run SOMEF, please follow the next steps:

Clone this GitHub repository

git clone

Install somef (you should be in the folder that you just cloned). Note that for Python 3.7 and 3.8 the module Cython should be installed in advanced (through the command: pip install Cython).

cd somef
pip install -e .

Test SOMEF installation

somef --help

If everything goes fine, you should see:

Usage: somef [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  -h, --help  Show this message and exit.

  configure  Configure credentials
  describe   Running the Command Line Interface
  version    Show somef version.

Installing through Docker

We provide a Docker image with SOMEF already installed. To run through Docker, you may build the Dockerfile provided in the repository by running:

docker build -t somef .

Or just use the Docker image already built in DockerHub:

docker pull kcapd/somef

Then, to run your image just type:

docker run -it kcapd/somef /bin/bash

And you will be ready to use SOMEF (see section below). If you want to have access to the results we recommend mounting a volume. For example, the following command will mount the current directory as the out folder in the Docker image:

docker run -it --rm -v $PWD/:/out kcapd/somef /bin/bash

If you move any files produced by somef into /out, then you will be able to see them in your current directory.


Before running SOMEF for the first time, you must configure it appropriately (you only need to do this once). Run:

somef configure

And you will be asked to provide the following:

If you want somef to be automatically configured (without GitHUb authentication key and using the default classifiers) just type:

somef configure -a

For showing help about the available options, run:

somef configure --help

Which displays:

Usage: somef configure [OPTIONS]

  Configure GitHub credentials and classifiers file path

  -a, --auto  Automatically configure SOMEF
  -h, --help  Show this message and exit.

Updating SOMEF

If you update SOMEF to a newer version, we recommend you configure again the library (by running somef configure). The rationale is that different versions may rely on classifiers which may be stored in a different path.


$ somef describe --help
  SOMEF Command Line Interface
Usage: somef describe [OPTIONS]

  Running the Command Line Interface

  -t, --threshold FLOAT           Threshold to classify the text  [required]
  Input: [mutually_exclusive, required]
    -r, --repo_url URL            Github/Gitlab Repository URL
    -d, --doc_src PATH            Path to the README file source
    -i, --in_file PATH            A file of newline separated links to GitHub/
                                  Gitlab repositories

  Output: [required_any]
    -o, --output PATH             Path to the output file. If supplied, the
                                  output will be in JSON

    -c, --codemeta_out PATH       Path to an output codemeta file
    -g, --graph_out PATH          Path to the output Knowledge Graph export
                                  file. If supplied, the output will be a
                                  Knowledge Graph, in the format given in the
                                  --format option chosen (turtle, json-ld)

  -f, --graph_format [turtle|json-ld]
                                  If the --graph_out option is given, this is
                                  the format that the graph will be stored in

  -p, --pretty                    Pretty print the JSON output file so that it
                                  is easy to compare to another JSON output

  -m, --missing                   The JSON will include a field 
                                  somef_missing_categories to report with the 
                                  missing metadata fields that SOMEF was not 
                                  able to find.

  -kt, --keep_tmp PATH            SOMEF will NOT delete the temporary folder
                                  where files are stored for analysis. Files
                                  will be stored at the
                                  desired path

  -h, --help                      Show this message and exit.

Usage example:

The following command extracts all metadata available from

somef describe -r -o test.json -t 0.8

Try SOMEF in Binder with our sample notebook: Binder


If you want to contribute with a pull request, please do so by submitting it to the dev branch.

Next features:

To see upcoming features, please have a look at our open issues and milestones

Extending SOMEF categories:

To run a classifier with an additional category or remove an existing one, a corresponding path entry in the config.json should be provided and the category type should be added/removed in the category variable in