[Rd] authorship and citation

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at prodsyse.com
Wed Oct 7 18:29:40 CEST 2015

An example from the sos package:  Its DESCRIPTION file says Author: 
Spencer Graves, Sundar Dorai-Raj, and Romain Francois.  However, the 
package includes a findFn function, whose help file includes an 
Author(s) section, which reads, "Spencer Graves, Sundar Dorai-Raj, 
Romain Francois.  Duncan Murdoch suggested the "???" alias for "findFn" 
and contributed the code for it.  Special thanks to Jonathan Baron and 
Andy Liaw. Baron maintains the RSiteSearch data base. Liaw and Baron 
created the RSiteSearch function in the utils package."

Another example:  The "Author" of the Ecdat package is Yves Croissant 
<yves.croissant at let.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr>.  I'm the Maintainer.  At some 
point, I may add my name to the list of Authors but I certainly would 
never remove Yves' name.  That package is, I think, exclusively data 
sets.  I added functions, which I later spun off into a separate Edfun 
package;  I'm listed as the Author and Maintainer of that.

Another example that may help you:  The "distr" package has several 
companion packages:  distrDoc, distrEx, distrSim, distrTEst, distrTeach, 
distrMod, and distrEllipse.  I haven't checked, but each package could 
have a separate and different list of authors.

Hope this helps.

On 10/7/2015 9:23 AM, Gabriel Becker wrote:
> Hadley,
> With all due respect, I'm not sure what exactly your deliniation between
> author and contributor is, but from what I can tell I don't agree with it.
> >From the blogpost regarding your new purrr package:
> "Purrr wouldn’t be possible without Lionel Henry
> <https://github.com/lionel->. He wrote a lot of the package and his
> insightful comments ..."
> And yet he is listed as a contributor in the DESCRIPTION file, and thus in
> your view not worthy of being in the citation even as a non-first author?
> That does not jive with what I understand to be "standard practice" with
> regard to software-related publications, and it certainly isn't what I
> would choose to do in that situation.
> Best,
> ~G
> On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 4:59 AM, Hadley Wickham <h.wickham at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 4:58 PM, Adrian Dușa <dusa.adrian at unibuc.ro> wrote:
>>> Hi Gabriel,
>>> On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:59 PM, Gabriel Becker <gmbecker at ucdavis.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>> At the very least, this is seems to be a flagrant violation of the
>>>> *spirit* of the CRAN policy, which AFAIK is intended to enforce
>>>> acknowledgement of the contributions of all copyright holders in the
>>>> package. The fact that you are trying to bypass the policy by suggesting
>>>> users use an unofficial citation which would not comply with the policy
>>>> while maintaining an official one which complies, but which you don't
>> want
>>>> users to see  is probably a suggestion that you shouldn't do that.
>>> But that is the very point: I read the CRAN policies twice, and there is
>> no
>>> official guideline on how to compile the citation.
>>> Regarding the Source packages, the policies mention:
>>> ######
>>> The ownership of copyright and intellectual property rights of all
>>> components of the package must be clear and unambiguous (including from
>> the
>>> authors specification in the DESCRIPTION file). Where code is copied (or
>>> derived) from the work of others (including from R itself), care must be
>>> taken that any copyright/license statements are preserved and authorship
>> is
>>> not misrepresented.
>>> Preferably, an ‘Authors at R’ would be used with ‘ctb’ roles for the
>> authors
>>> of such code. Alternatively, the ‘Author’ field should list these authors
>>> as contributors.
>>> Where copyrights are held by an entity other than the package authors,
>> this
>>> should preferably be indicated via ‘cph’ roles in the ‘Authors at R>> field, or
>>> using a ‘Copyright’ field (if necessary referring to an inst/COPYRIGHTS
>>> file).
>>> Trademarks must be respected.
>>> ######
>>> Now, that requirement is already met: the former author is still in the
>>> authors' list. So the contribution of the former author is duly
>>> acknowledged, but the fundamental issue of my question related to the
>>> citation file, for which the CRAN policies doesn't offer any other
>>> information.
>>> If the spirit of the CRAN policies is to enforce citing each and every
>> one
>>> of the authors, then I don't understand why the citation from package
>> Rcmdr
>>> meets this spirit, while my suggestion doesn't.
>> I'd recommend that you read
>> https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/shiny/DESCRIPTION and compare
>> it to citation("shiny"). Authors, but not contributors, all listed in
>> the citation.
>> Hadley
>> --
>> http://had.co.nz/

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