[R] citing a package?

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Mon Feb 9 17:08:18 CET 2004

On Mon, 9 Feb 2004, Ramon Diaz-Uriarte wrote:

> Dear Martin,
> I'd suggest you check the "DESCRIPTION" file and ask the author(s) of the
> package (e.g., a package might be related to a tech report which might, now,
> be in press, or whatever).

The posted suggestions seem to be that you don't cite the package, you
cite something else vaguely related to it instead.  This violates both the
purpose of a citation (a link to the original source) and the principle
(which I hope R users support) that software is publishable in itself, not
just as an appendage to text.

Most citation styles give rules for citing software and rules for citing
URIs.  Even when the package author has been completely unhelpful in
constructing a package title you can still put together a perfectly
reasonable citation, eg,

Lumley T (2003) Rmeta version 2.10. R package. http://cran.r-project.org

Some publishers might want a download date, or an explicit statement that
it is software (eg to make searching easier).


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