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Re: st: how to cite others' code?

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: how to cite others' code?
Date   Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:54:21 -0500

Good question. Some thoughts:

* If you are using a program you downloaded from SSC, the authors sometime include a list of suggested citations.

* If the author has published an article using their own program, e.g. in The Stata Journal, they would probably appreciate a citation to that. I also appreciate it if people send me a note saying they used one of my programs in a published article, but I don't consider that essential.

* When reviewing, I always encourage people to tell what software they are using. I don't know if Stata wants a specific citation from you (perhaps to one of the reference manuals?) but I imagine it likes it if you at least say that you were using Stata.

* Some uses might be mentioned in the acknowledgments or in a footnote., e.g. thank Nick Cox for his helpful suggestions, without necessarily linking to the posts where he did that.

At 03:29 PM 2/25/2011, Rebecca Pope wrote:
Hello Statalist-ers,
Is there a standard format or set of guidelines for citing code
written by others? I am _not_ asking whether one ought to cite pieces
of code written by others, but what is required to be in that
citation. If a standard does exist, does it differ depending on
whether the code comes from Stata Corp, user-written ado files, or was
posted as an example to the list? I did try to search for this before
posting, but all I found were some posts relating to people not citing
others' code. If guidelines are already codified & available, I'm
afraid they have been obscured in my search results by this previous

As a concrete example, Svend Juul posted a question a few days ago
about generating new variables in a command when a -varlist- is also
required. I do something similar in one of my programs, but Nick's
response (
is far more flexible than my solution to the problem. If I were to
replace my code with what Nick posted, how would that be correctly

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Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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