Re: [Rd] Citation for R

From: <>
Date: Tue 14 Jun 2005 - 07:10:35 GMT

>>>>> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 10:38:38 +1000, >>>>> Gordon Smyth (GS) wrote:

  >> Note also that R does have a User Guide, i.e., while there is plenty of 
  >> excellent documentation,
  >> there is no single document which is a guide to the whole project.

> Oops, I meant to write "R does not have a User Guide".

> Just to explain this further, the citation() function asks me to cite a
> "Manual" with the title "R: A language and environment for statistical
> computing". Although R comes with excellent documentation, including at
> least 6 manuals on different aspects of the software, no manual or document
> with that title actually exists, as far as I know.

The Reference Index (all help Pages in one PDF document) has that name ("Reference Index" is actually the subtitle), and you can download it from

(it's the 12MB guy at the end of the list of manuals). The ISBN rules make it possible to cover both a software package and it's corresponding reference manual by one single ISBN number if they are bundled tightly and that's what we did for R. So as far as citations go this should be as good a reference as any printed book. ISBN does not require the item to be available for sale in printed form, electronic publication is sufficient, see

The only open question is how many ISBN number we need exactly for R (every patch release, every minor release etc.). I had a short discussion with the Austrian ISBN representative and he recommended for a fast-changing work like R to consider it like a database or encyclopedia (which is true for the help pages anyway), and be rather pragmatic. Hence we assigned a new ISBN to version 2.0.0 and will do so again for 3.0.0.


                        Friedrich Leisch 
Institut für Statistik                     Tel: (+43 1) 58801 10715
Technische Universität Wien                Fax: (+43 1) 58801 10798
Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10/1071
A-1040 Wien, Austria   

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