[R] How to reference an R package ?

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Mon Jul 2 17:04:43 CEST 2001

On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, [iso-8859-1] José Ernesto Jardim wrote:

> Hi
> Once more I have doubts about references.
> I want to give a reference of the packages I've used (gss, MASS, geoR).
> For the gss package I'm using
> @TechReport{gss00,
>   Author         = {Chong Gu},
>   Title          = {The gss package},
>   Institution    = {CRAN},
>   year           = 2000,
>   month          = {22 } # dec,
> }
> and something similar for the others, but this doesn't look very good to
> me.

No.  It's not a technical report and it's not really published by CRAN.
This is properly a question for your publisher, but you may find the
American Psychological Assocation style helpful (they think a lot about
references). The Modern Language Association has similar recommendations.

The APA give an example

    Arend, Dominic N. (1993). Choices [Computer program]. Champaign, IL: U.S.
Army Corps or Engineers Research Laboratory. (CERL Report No. CH7-22510)

and explanation

The name(s) of the programmers are listed at the head of the entry, last
names first, followed by a period. After listing the date in parentheses
followed by a period, underline the title, and specify in brackets that
the source is a computer program. List the location and the organization's
name that produced the program. Add any other necessary information for
identifying the program (in this example, the report number) in
parentheses at the entry's conclusion.

For referencing material downloaded from the web they recommend
listing the URL and date downloaded.  One could argue that on CRAN things
always get a new version number when they change, so that this is


Thomas Lumley			Asst. Professor, Biostatistics
tlumley at u.washington.edu	University of Washington, Seattle

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