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Re: st: how to cite Stata helpfile

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: how to cite Stata helpfile
Date   Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:07:58 -0500

At 03:05 PM 11/7/2011, Jet wrote:
HI, how to cite a Stata helpfile (e.g., betafit) if needed? Wonder if
there is any suggested way to do so. Thanks!

The Stata 12 User's Guide says

The suggested citation for this software is
StataCorp. 2011. Stata: Release 12. Statistical Software. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP.

For a built in command, I suppose you could also cite the appropriate reference manual. I would especially do that if I was directly quoting from the manual. The manual usually has the same text as the help file, and more.

For a user-written command --

I would suggest seeing if the help file includes a suggested citation. If you are using one of my programs, my strong preference is that you cite one of my published articles, assuming I have written a relevant article for the command.

Barring that, or in addition to, you might try citing the repec pages. For example, the user-written ivreg2 help file makes this suggestion:

ivreg2 is not an official Stata command. It is a free contribution to the research community, like a paper. Please cite it as such:

Baum, C.F., Schaffer, M.E., Stillman, S. 2010. ivreg2: Stata module for extended instrumental variables/2SLS, GMM and AC/HAC, LIML and k-class regression.

As to when to cite - my own feeling is that if you are using a user-written estimation command, you should cite the authors of that command. Utilities, probably not, unless they had a really major impact on the analysis. If you do feel a deep debt of gratitude for some utilities, perhaps those authors could be mentioned in the acknowledgments instead. Citations of published work are what is going to help most scholars the most, but other types of appreciation are nice as well.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
HOME:   (574)289-5227
EMAIL:  Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.Edu

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