[Python-Dev] Official citation for Python
steve at pearwood.info
Mon Sep 10 21:48:08 EDT 2018
On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 09:25:29PM +0200, Chris Barker via Python-Dev wrote:
> I"d like ot know what thee citations are expected to be used for?
> i.e. -- usually, academic papers have a collection of citiations to
> acknowledge where you got an idea, or fact, or .... It serves both to
> jusstify something and make it clear that it is not your own idea (i.e. not
> That is about reproducible results, which is really a different thing than
> the usual citations.
I don't think it is. I think you are seeing a distinction that is not
there. If citations were just about acknowledgement, we could say "I got
this idea from Bob" and be done with it. Citations are about identifying
the *exact* source so that anyone can reproduce the given ideas by
checking not just "Bob" but the specific page number of a specific
edition of a specific work.
So the requirement for precision is no different between papers and
software, and the academic standards for citing software already take
that into account. There are challenges with software, to be sure --
code is much more ephemeral, there may be literally hundreds of
authors, etc. But in principle, the kinds of information needed to
cite a software package is known. The major citation styles already
include this. When you are using a specific style, this page:
suggests a few formats, depending on how you got access to the software.
The bottom line is, we don't have to guess what information to provide.
People like Jacqueline can tell us what they need, and we'll just fill
in the values.
The people citing Python know what information they need, we just have
to help them get it. I think that the best way to do that is to provide
the correct information in a single place, in a single, standard format,
and let them choose the appropriate citation style for their
Jackie, do I have that right?
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