Re: [R] [Rd] Citation for R

From: White, Charles E WRAIR-Wash DC <charles.edwin.white_at_us.army.mil>
Date: Mon 20 Feb 2006 - 03:05:33 EST


My subject line refers to a thread from June 2005 where I found explanations from Uwe Ligges and Friedrich Leisch as to what is intended by the R citation recommended within the software. Forgive me if I missed some points within the thread but when I found myself circling through messages I had already read, I stopped trying to follow it. I understand and mostly agree with how the R citation is currently suggested, though I would like to make two recommendations:

(1) Include the version number in the citation.

When editors realize I'm citing software, they want to know which version I am citing. Since the document we are citing (called the 'Reference Index' under the 'Manuals' link) actually includes the version number anyway, I recommend that the R Development Core Team expand the reference to include that information. A suggested format follows:

R Development Core Team (2005). R: A language and environment for statistical computing, reference index version 2.2.1. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org.

(2) Help editors find the cited document by (a) explicitly providing a
citation link on the main web page for the R-project and (b) referencing the cited document on the web site by the name under which it is cited.

Imagine the hapless editor following the R-project link expecting to find a document called "R: A language and environment for statistical computing." They then Google the ISBN number and find it referring to multiple versions of the software. <grin> With regard to the citation link, I recommend that it be called 'Citing R' and that it be placed on the left side of the web page under the header called 'About R.' With regard to the text on the page linked to 'Citing R,' I suggest something like the following:

The R Development Core Team recommends the following citation for the current major release of R:

R Development Core Team (2005). R: A language and environment for statistical computing, reference index version 2.x.x. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org.

With regard to the version number, 2 is the major release, the first x is the minor release, and the last x is the patch level. The ISBN number covers both the software and the tightly bundled reference index. This number changes with each major release of R. ...

Thanks for your time.

Chuck

Charles E. White, Senior Biostatistician, MS Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
503 Robert Grant Ave., Room 1w102
Silver Spring, MD 20910-1557
301 319-9781
Personal/Professional Site:
http://users.starpower.net/cwhite571/professional/



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