[Python-Dev] Official citation for Python

Chris Barker chris.barker at noaa.gov
Tue Sep 11 17:01:16 EDT 2018

Thanks Wes.

> Python
> Guido van Rossum: Scripting the Web with Python. In "Scripting Languages:
> Automating the Web", World Wide Web Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring
> 1997, O'Reilly.
> Aaron Watters, Guido van Rossum, James C. Ahlstrom: Internet Programming
> with Python. MIS Press/Henry Holt publishers, New York, 1996.
> Guido van Rossum: Python Library Reference. May 1995. CWI Report CS-R9524.
> Guido van Rossum: Python Reference Manual. May 1995. CWI Report CS-R9525.
> Guido van Rossum: Python Tutorial. May 1995. CWI Report CS-R9526.
> Guido van Rossum: Extending and Embedding the Python Interpreter. May
> 1995. CWI Report CS-R9527.
> Guido van Rossum, Jelke de Boer: Linking a Stub Generator (AIL) to a
> Prototyping Language (Python). Spring 1991 EurOpen Conference Proceedings
> (May 20-24, 1991) Tromso, Norway.
> """

Of these, I think the Python Reference Manual is the only one that comes
close as a general citation for the langue itself. And it would be a
particular version, presumably. But those old versions are published as
tech reports by a know institution -- easier to cite than teh PSF.

I've seen folks cite various academic articles to satisfy a citation for a
language or library, but often that is simply because that is the one thing
they could find that is citable in the standard way.

sure -- though I don't think "article" is the correct catagory -- probbaly
technical report.

Looking at the current "official" docs, the copyright is held by the PSF,
but I see no author mentioned (I recall it said Fred Drake many years
back...) I take that back -- the PDF version has an author.

So I'm thinking maybe:

  author       = {Guido van Rossum and the Python development team},
  title        = {Python Language Reference, release 3.7.0},
  institution  = {Python Software Foundation},
  year         = 2018,
  address      = {9450 SW Gemini Dr. ECM# 90772, Beaverton, OR 97008 USA},
  number       = 3.7,
  url .        = {https://docs.python.org/release/3.7.0/},

I used "Guido van Rossum and the Python development team" as the Author, as
that's what it says on the PDF version. Not sure how bibliography software
will deal with that...

And what do we do with version? part of the title, or (ab)use number (Or
volume, or ....)

And it would be better to cite the entire standard docs, rather than just
the language reference, but I"m not sure what to call it -- there is no
single document with a title.

And a DOI for each release would be nice.



Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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Chris.Barker at noaa.gov
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