It’s easy to cite and reference R!

June 15, 2018
By

(This article was first published on Emma R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Remember to reference R

When people are new to using R and, perhaps, to referencing and report writing in general, they often don’t know they should cite and reference R and its packages. We do this for the same reasons we reference any thing else in any academic work.

  1. We need to support our arguments with evidence and give readers the opportunity to evaluate the validity of that evidence. Citing R and its packages allows people to evaluate the reproducilibity of your analysis and results.
  2. We need to recognise and give credit for the work of others. R is a collaborative open source project with many contributors and citing R and its packages supports the development of such fantastic and free tools.

R makes it easy to do this!

The citation() function

This function outputs the reference for R

citation()
## 
## To cite R in publications use:
## 
##   R Core Team (2017). R: A language and environment for
##   statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing,
##   Vienna, Austria. URL https://www.R-project.org/.
## 
## A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is
## 
##   @Manual{,
##     title = {R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing},
##     author = {{R Core Team}},
##     organization = {R Foundation for Statistical Computing},
##     address = {Vienna, Austria},
##     year = {2017},
##     url = {https://www.R-project.org/},
##   }
## 
## We have invested a lot of time and effort in creating R, please
## cite it when using it for data analysis. See also
## 'citation("pkgname")' for citing R packages.

BibTeX is just a format used by some reference managers.

You can get the citation information for R packages like this:

citation("ggplot2")
## 
## To cite ggplot2 in publications, please use:
## 
##   H. Wickham. ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis.
##   Springer-Verlag New York, 2009.
## 
## A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is
## 
##   @Book{,
##     author = {Hadley Wickham},
##     title = {ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis},
##     publisher = {Springer-Verlag New York},
##     year = {2009},
##     isbn = {978-0-387-98140-6},
##     url = {http://ggplot2.org},
##   }

In your Methods section you might say something like:

Analysis was conducted in R (R Core Team, 2014) and figures were produced using the package ggplot2 (Wickham, 2009).

Usually, it will have more detail about the analysis itself. Here is an example:

We used R (R Core Team, 2017) with lme4 (Bates et al., 2015) to perform linear mixed (LME) analysis of cell function……….

Then in your reference list:

Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B. and Walker, S. (2015). Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4.
Journal of Statistical Software, 67(1), 1-48. doi:10.18637/jss.v067.i01.

R Core Team (2014). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical
Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL http://www.R-project.org/

Wickham, H. (2009) ggplot2: elegant graphics for data analysis. Springer New York.

P.S. You do get this message every time you start R up!

R version 3.4.2 (2017-09-28) -- "Short Summer"
Copyright (C) 2017 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Platform: x86_64-w64-mingw32/x64 (64-bit)

R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.

R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
Type 'contributors()' for more information and
'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.

Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or
'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
Type 'q()' to quit R.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Emma R.

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