[Python-Dev] Official citation for Python

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Tue Sep 11 16:35:04 EDT 2018

On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 2:45 PM, Steven D'Aprano <steve at pearwood.info>

> I think this thread is about *academic* citations.

yes, I assumed that as well, what in any of my posts made you think

> There's a metric ton of information on the web about citing software,
> there are existing standards, and I really think you are
> over-complicating this. See, for example:
> https://www.software.ac.uk/how-cite-software
> http://www.citethisforme.com/cite/software
> https://openresearchsoftware.metajnl.com/about/#q12

The fact that those posts exist demonstrates that this is anything but a
solved problem.

Its not our job to tell academics how to cite, they already have a
> number of standardized templates that they use, but it is our job to
> tell them what information to fill into the template.

yes, of course -- I don't know why this thread got sidetracked into
citation formats, that has nothing to do with it. Or as the op said, that's
"the easy part"

> Lets say one were to write an article about how different computer
> > languages express functional programming concepts -- you may want to cite
> > Python, but you are not trying to identify a specific version for
> > reproducible results.
> I don't think we need to lose any sleep over how random bloggers and
> Redditors informally cite Python.

Why in the world would you think "article" meant random bloggers? In
BiBTex, for instance, a paper in a peer reviewed journal is called an
"article", as apposed to a book, or chapter, or inproceedings, or
techreport, or.... As this whole thread is about academic citations, I
assumed that...

I think the focus here is on academic
> citations, which have rather precise and standard requirements.

not for software, yet.

> No need
> to expand the scope of this problem to arbitrary mentions of Python.

I was not expanding it -- I was hoping to contract it -- or at least better
define it.

> Of course it is possible that I've completely misunderstood Jackie's
> request. If so, hopefully she will speak up soon.

I think we're all on the same page about that, actually.

My point, to be more pedantic about it, is that an academic paper might be
*about* Python in some way, or it might describe work that *used* Python as
a tool to accomplish some other understanding. These *may* require a
different citation.

And a citation that satisfies academic criteria for using Python may not be
enough to assure reproducible results.

> And see Wes Turner's note -- it is highly unlikely that a single citation
> > to a standard document or something will be enough for reproducibility
> > anyway.
> The academic community seems to think that it is. We don't have to tell
> them that they're wrong.

The Academic community has a really bad track record with reproducible
results for computationally based research -- it is not a solved problem.

And it's not a "they" -- many of us on this list are part of the academic



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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