Software articles should describe a tool likely to be of broad utility that represents a significant advance over previously published software (usually demonstrated by direct comparison with available related software).
Availability of software to reviewers and other researchers
The software application/tool described in the manuscript must be available for testing by reviewers in a way that preserves their anonymity. If published, software applications/tools must be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without restrictions such as the need for a material transfer agreement. Because weblinks frequently become broken, BMC Chemical Engineering strongly recommends that all software applications/tools are included with the submitted manuscript as additional files to ensure that the software will continue to be available.
BMC Chemical Engineering recommends, but does not require, that the source code of the software should be made available under a suitable open-source license that will entitle other researchers to further develop and extend the software if they wish to do so. Typically, an archive of the source code of the current version of the software should be included with the submitted manuscript as a supplementary file. Since it is likely that the software will continue to be developed following publication, the manuscript should also include a link to the home page for the software project. For open source projects, we recommend that authors host their project with a recognized open-source repository such as bioinformatics.org or sourceforge.net
Should a description of a website be submitted as a Software article or a Database article?
Descriptions of websites and web-based tools should be submitted as Software articles if the intention is that the software that drives the website will be made available to other researchers to extend and use on other websites. On the other hand, if a website's functionality is closely tied to a specific database then the article should instead be submitted as a Database article.