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

Michael Friendly friendly at yorku.ca
Thu Nov 13 14:41:25 CET 2008

Achim Zeileis wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Nov 2008, Michael Friendly wrote:
>> In two recent in press articles where I cited R packages,
>> I was asked by the copy-editor to add a location or url to the 
>> references. Could I suggest that citation() be modified to include
>> the URL automatically?
> That's a good suggestion and one that I discussed several times with 
> Kurt. The problem is that citation() only looks at the installed 
> package which doesn't know where it came from. Thus, I have AFAIK no 
> simple means of checking whether a particular package I'm using was 
> obtained from CRAN, Bioc, R-Forge, or some local source package. 
> Hence, the URL cannot be included automatically.
Right -- hence patching citation() is not a general answer. 
> I agree that this would be nice to have. One idea would be that the 
> CRAN maintainer adds a line to the DESCRIPTION file upon release to 
> CRAN. There are a few ideas how to do this exactly and it's not yet 
> implemented.
Well, one solution might be for the build script that runs on CRAN to 
add a URL line to the DESCRIPTION file
(if one is not already present), in the same way it adds other lines


Michael Friendly     Email: friendly AT yorku DOT ca 
Professor, Psychology Dept.
York University      Voice: 416 736-5115 x66249 Fax: 416 736-5814
4700 Keele Street    http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/friendly.html
Toronto, ONT  M3J 1P3 CANADA

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