May 19, 2022

Scholarly Publishing: Computers & Graphics Journal Includes First Executable Papers Published Online on Science Direct

From Elsevier:

Computers & Graphics for the first time has published executable papers in its special issue on 3D Object Retrieval within the online article framework on ScienceDirect.

An executable paper combines the narrative of a traditional scholarly paper with embedded data sets and computer code that underlie the reported results. Readers can inspect code, change parameters, upload their own test data, and re-run code to probe the paper’s computational methods and verify the author’s results.


Professor Joaquim Jorge of INESC-ID / Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal and Editor-in-Chief of Computers & Graphics, as well as guest editors Dr. Michela Spagnuolo and Prof. Remco Veltkamp were instrumental in building support for the project from within the graphics community and the resulting pilot has longer term applications across multiple disciplines.

“Most experiments in the field of computer science are difficult or impossible to reproduce without full access to data and coding”, said Ann Gabriel, Publishing Director of Computer Science Journals at Elsevier. “Executable papers allow authors to create a numerical experiment that belongs with their article. This experiment contains one or more pieces of computer code, together with all the data sets that may be necessary to execute the code. By capturing the full methodology, the Collage system ensures that results are fully reproducible. Elsevier is proud to launch this breakthrough development: a fully integrated, seamless user experience that allows the reader to explore full computational elements and coding while reading the article.”


This first inclusion of executable papers on ScienceDirect represents a milestone for the Article of the Future project. It represents a fundamental step forward, allowing readers to also capture actual computational methodology and coding behind results. This helps to better organize research output and ensures reproducibility, both essential for the progress of science in the 21st century.

Learn More About the Executable Papers

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.