Asclepias Broker

The Asclepias Broker is a web service that enables building and flexibly querying graphs of links between research outputs. It’s aiming to address a couple of problems in the world of scholarly link communication, with a focus on Software citation:

Governance of the scholarly links data and metadata
Storage and curation of scholarly links is a problem that cannot be easily solved in a centralized fashion. In the same manner that specialized repositories exist to facilitate research output of different scientific fields, scholarly link tracking is a task performed best by a service that specializes in a specific scientific field.
Meaningful counting of software citations
Software projects (and other types of research) evolve over time, and these changes are tracked via the concept of versioning. The issue that rises is that citations to software projects end up being “diluted” throughout their versions, leading to inaccurate citation counting for the entire sotware project. Rolling-up these citations is critical to assess the impact a software project has in a scientific field.
Sharing of scholarly links across interested parties
Keeping track of the incoming scholarly links for a research artifact is a difficult task that usually repositories have to individually tackle by tapping into a multitude of external services, that expose their data in different ways. Receiving “live” notifications and having a consistent format and source for these events is crucial in order to reduce complexity and provide a comprehensive view.

These problems are addressed by providing an easy to setup service that:

  • Can receive and store scholarly links through a REST API
  • Exposes these scholarly links through a versatile REST API
  • Can connect to a network of similar services and exchange links with them

The code in this repository was funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the American Astronomical Society (2016).

User’s Guide

This part of the documentation will show you how to get started using the Asclepias Broker.


This section describes the design principles of the Asclepias Broker.


This section documents the REST APIs exposed by the service.

API Reference

If you are looking for information on a specific function, class or method, this part of the documentation is for you.

Additional Notes

Notes on how to contribute, legal information and changes are here for the interested.