Citation of original article when implementing specific methods

Hi all,

I am constantly hesitant of what I should do when I write a package implementing a specific method described in a single paper? Should my CITATION file mention the original article alongside the package?

Here’s an actual example in my asymptor package:

citHeader("Please cite both the package and the original articles in your publications:")

year <- sub("-.*", "", meta$Date)
note <- sprintf("R package version %s", meta$Version)

  bibtype = "Misc",
  title   = "{asymptor}: Estimate the lower and upper bound of asymptomatic
  cases in an epidemic using the capture/recapture methods",
  author = person("Hugo", "Gruson"),
  year   = year,
  note   = note,
  url    = ""

  bibtype  = "Article",
  title    = "Estimating the undetected infections in the Covid-19 outbreak by
  harnessing capture–recapture methods",
  author   = c("D. Böhning ", "I. Rocchetti ", "A. Maruotti", "H. Holling"),
  journal  = "International Journal of Infectious Diseases",
  year     = "2020",
  volume   = "97",
  pages    = "197--201",
  doi      = "10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.009"

  bibtype  = "Article",
  title    = "Estimating the size of undetected cases of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak
  in Europe: An upperbound estimator",
  author   = c("I. Rocchetti", "D. Böhning", "H. Holling", "A. Maruotti"),
  journal  = "medRxiv",
  year     = "2020",
  doi      = "10.1101/2020.07.14.20153445"

In other words, how far goes my role in making sure users properly acknowledge the original creators of the method (who are different from the package author in this case)? Is mentioning it in the README and function help enough? Or am I right to add it to the CITATION file as well?


I am realizing it’s a similar challenge as with packages accessing data, where ideally one should promote citation of the data providers as well? E.g. nasapower CITATION by @adamhsparks has a note on how to acknowledge the data provider.

With the problem in your case that one of the entries is a package manual and the other one is a paper, and users might choose to cite only the one that looks like other references i.e. the paper?

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I agree in this case to make effort that users will cite the paper describing the method. I don’t think there’s any rules from CRAN or otherwise on what citations go in the CITATION file.

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