[Cython] Cython paper in Computing in Science & Engineering

Dag Sverre Seljebotn d.s.seljebotn at astro.uio.no
Thu Apr 7 10:33:08 CEST 2011

On 04/07/2011 10:00 AM, Stefan Behnel wrote:
> Dag Sverre Seljebotn, 07.04.2011 07:54:
>> On 04/07/2011 02:12 AM, Robert Bradshaw wrote:
>>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 4:40 PM, Zak Stone wrote:
>>>>>> Researchers: Please consider citing this paper if Cython helps your
>>>>>> research in non-trivial ways.
>>>>> Is this the canonical citation reference for Cython now? If so, can
>>>>> this be
>>>>> mentioned on the Cython webpage somewhere that is prominent enough 
>>>>> to be
>>>>> found?
>>>> On a related note, would it be possible to post a preprint somewhere
>>>> that isn't behind a paywall? If that's allowed, I would be delighted
>>>> to share the preprint with friends to introduce them to Cython.
>>> Yes, I think we can post the pre-print, though I'm opposed to making
>>> this the "canonical citation" just because of this paywall.
>> Is this for ideological or practical reasons?
> Both.
>> This is probably the only paper in a "real" journal for some time, and
>> citations are going to boost the authors' citation counts. Nobody would
>> actually look up the citation anyway simply to learn about Cython, 
>> they'd
>> just Google it.
> Depends on the reference. If it's just cited as "you know, Cython", 
> people will either look for "Cython" directly and be happy, or they 
> may look up the paper, see that it's paid, and keep searching, either 
> for the paper or for the project. If it's cited as "in that paper, you 
> can read about doing X with Cython", then people will try even harder 
> to get at the paper. In either case, chances are that they need to 
> invest more time because of the reference, compared to a plain link in 
> a footnote. So citing this article is likely to be an inconvenience 
> for interested readers of papers that cite it.

I guess this depends on the paper and reader in question then. Myself 
I'd never bother with the paper but go right to the website. Citing is 
just "paying the authors of the software through improving their 
citation stats". Then again my field is unfortunately very much 

I definitely think we should encourage giving a footnote as well.

How about just presenting the situation as it is in a "Citing Cython" 
section, and leave the decision up to who's citing Cython? ("If you 
don't like to cite a paywall paper, a website reference is OK. At any 
rate, please link to the website in a footnote the first time you 
mention Cython.")

Really, I hate the current situation as much as you do. But I see moving 
the world towards open access as the task of those whose already got a 
bit up the food chain; I'm just at the start of my PhD. (And it should 
be obvious I'm arguing with my own interests in mind here.)

Dag Sverre

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