Re: [Rd] Citation for R

From: A.J. Rossini <>
Date: Tue 14 Jun 2005 - 08:06:02 GMT

On 6/14/05, <> 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.

Fritz -

That's silly. As someone pointed out, the issue is with the publisher, not the citation. If R-Core were a generally well-known and regarded publishing house such as Springer or Microsoft, it would not be a problem. But it's still a nebulous entity to MANY people, and so many people fail to understand this open source stuff. It's seriously discouraged by most journals to cite technical reports, for example. And perhaps, R could be considered more of a long-ish technical report than a book? Though perhaps Peter D. could be considered the "editor"? (these questions are not those that I need to ask, obviously!)

(just yesterday, I was asked by a reasonably intelligent colleague, with respect to corporate packaging of R: "So they (corporate packagers) just pick some version and package it, right?" and my flabbergasted response was:

"and so, what the heck do you think they (corporate packagers) do with SAS, S-PLUS, and SPSS, and why do you think it's different...?").


"Commit early,commit often, and commit in a repository from which we can easily roll-back your mistakes" (AJR, 4Jan05).

A.J. Rossini mailing list Received on Tue Jun 14 18:09:20 2005

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