(originally posted in the modeling-languages.com portal)

CONTEXT: In some domains (as mine), many research works end up with a prototype implementation of the research results. This prototype is usually released using some kind of open source license so that the community can benefit from it.

In AtlanMod , we are very proud of the large user base of our tools and of the benefits (and challenges!) that this brings to the team.

However, this has an undesired side-effect, our tools are by far more popular than the research papers describing/introducing them (e.g. everybody in the software modeling community knows ATL ? but, how many could point to the paper that best describes ATL?).

If you are not a professional researcher you may be thinking “so what?”. The answer is easy: the current evaluation system for researchers (I´d say in any country) gives a lot of importance to the number of citations of paper but almost zero to the number of users of your tools. Simply put, a reference to our paper counts for the CV of all paper authors, indicating the url of a tool (even worse if it is just as a footnote or just by mentioning the tool) does not.

I’m not saying I agree with this (leading/creating widely used open source projects should, and can, be quantified and evaluated as part of the achievements of a researcher) but until then please think about us the next time you use one of our tools in your research work. We´ll really appreciate it.

Btw, as Antonio Vallecillo proposed, to help on this, we should make clear ourselves which paper should be cited when using each tool.