Re: [Rd] R package BibTex entries: looking for a more general solution

From: Michael Friendly <>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 14:15:26 -0400

On 11/3/2010 10:42 AM, John Fox wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> FWIW, I've added a CITATION file to the car package on R-Forge.

When I composed a CITATION file for the heplots package, I had to root around in R/library to find something to use as a template. The main reason for doing this was to have citation("heplots") also provide a reference to the theory paper on which this was based, and which should also be cited by users of the package.

  "Writing R Extensions", 1.10 gives a simple example of a CITATION file, but even this is somewhat daunting for a package author, and thus is generally ignored.

This would all be easier, and could evolve over time if there was a function, e.g., prompt.citation(package) in utils that would write a basic CITATION file from a package DESCRIPTION, that a package author could easily edit and then include in the package.

I can imagine it working something like:

 > prompt.citation("fubar")
A CITATION file for the fubar package was automatically generated from the package DESCRIPTION
file. Please edit this file and move it to the appropriate directory, inst/ in the package tree.
Warning: no Date: field provided in the package DESCRIPTION Warning: Authors: field does not appear to be a list of names joined with 'and'

Providing something like this would obviate my suggestions to impose restrictions on DESCRIPTION
files, and seems more in line with the way R packages and documentation have developed.


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    Web:
Toronto, ONT  M3J 1P3 CANADA

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