[Rd] Citation for R

Gordon Smyth smyth at wehi.edu.au
Tue Jun 14 11:40:36 CEST 2005

At 05:22 PM 14/06/2005, Friedrich.Leisch at tuwien.ac.at wrote:
> >>>>> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 08:42:59 +1000 (EST),
> >>>>> Gordon K Smyth (GKS) wrote:
>   > On Tue, June 14, 2005 12:49 am, Thomas Lumley said:
>   >> On Mon, 13 Jun 2005, Gordon K Smyth wrote:
>   >>
>   >>> This is just a note that R would get a lot more citations if the
>   >>> recommended citation was an article in a recognised journal or from a
>   >>> recognised publisher.
>   >>>
>   >>
>   >> This is unfortunately true, but R is *not* an article or a book, it is a
>   >> piece of software.  I don't think I'm the only person who thinks it is
>   >> counterproductive in the long run to encourage users to cite an article
>   >> that they probably haven't read instead of citing the software they
>   >> actually used.
>   >>
>   >> Jan's suggestion of the Journal of Statistical Software might provide a
>   >> solution, since JSS *does* publish software.
>   >>
>   >> -thomas
>   > In the biology world, it is common to publish an article
>   > announcing a software project, and to cite that.  The referees of
>   > the article are expected to try out and comment on the software.
>   > This gives the authors credit, and ensures that both the article
>   > and the software have been peer refereed, at least to a limited
>   > extent.
>How do you cite books in this world, or to but the question in another
>way: How do you make sure a book is peer-reviewd? After all it is
>quite easy to become a "publisher" and publish ones own books. Many
>university departments I know are registered ISBN publishers
>(including our department).  Must be hard to distinguish "real" books
>from others, I guess.

Books are cited as in the statistics literature but, naturally, there is a 
tendency to prefer references from more reputable sources. Hence a Wiley & 
Son book would be prefered, other things being equal, to a book from a 
minor university press, which is turn would be prefered to a self-published 
book. Self-published electronic books are pretty much at the bottom of the 
pile. This doesn't mean that important references of this form can't be 
cited, but it doesn mean that one is pushing uphill.

Self-published software manuals are usually cited in-text, as are many 
other tools and technologies mentioned in the methods section, rather than 
in the references.

Thanks for pointing out, in a separate posting, that citation() refers to 
the "R Reference Manual".


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