[R] Citing R in journal articles (or the failure to)

Kinoko andzsinszan at gmail.com
Wed Nov 12 03:09:09 CET 2008

Just  a few words...
I usually cite softwares, especially if they are opensource (and
encourage everyone to do so).
Of course I would not append references for rkward or kile to my bib
(neither word or excel).

While the response of the researcher using your software is not
convincing, you can easily check
if it is the journal's deliberate policy to exclude software
- e.g. to save space - or it was simply the author's ignorance why
your package was not cited.
The latter case seems to be more likely though.

In defense of the 'ignorant' author, it should be noted that it is not
always clear how to cite a software.
For example, neither typing citation(tweedie), nor browsing through
tweedie's documentation tells me
how to cite it (of course, as a last resort I can mail the  author of
the package).
Probably I would not be so helpless if we were in the same research
field though.

Related to this, can offer some explanation how to figure out the
citations of packages in publications?

best wishes,


Appendix: The sections below are straight from R console.

> citation()

To cite R in publications use:

  R Development Core Team (2008). R: A language and environment for
statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing,
  Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org.

A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is

    title = {R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing},
    author = {{R Development Core Team}},
    organization = {R Foundation for Statistical Computing},
    address = {Vienna, Austria},
    year = {2008},
    note = {{ISBN} 3-900051-07-0},
    url = {http://www.R-project.org},

We have invested a lot of time and effort in creating R, please cite
it when using it for data analysis. See also
‘citation("pkgname")’ for citing R packages.

> citation(tweedie)
Error in match(x, table, nomatch = 0) : 'match' requires vector

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