Should the rOpenSci Dev Guide include package citation best practices?

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In a recent submission in our software review system a user asked if rOpenSci has policies/guidance regarding package citations

We don’t at this time.

Should we have policies or best practice guidelines about package citations in our dev guide?

If no, why?

If yes, what should the best practices be?


YES. Generally, we should adhere to FORCE11 Guidelines:

  • We should require CITATION files and provide recommended formats.
  • We should require/autogenerate codemeta.json files.
  • We should highly recommend a “Citing this package/data” section in README

  • If we require citation files, do we require it before we review a package, or just saw to add one after review?
  • For codemeta, do we require it before review? I’ve been asking people to add them after acceptance thus far.
  • i’ve heard of force11, but how do we implement them in practice? what do we actually tell people to do to follow it?


CITATION and codemeta should be:

  • In the packaging guide, so checked by reviewers
  • Part of automatic package checks
  • On editor’s radar so if the above don’t work, they are flagged. I think doing this at end of review is fine, as the contents of these files would likely change over the course of review.

We’re covering a lot of FORCE11 principles in general. Some that we could do more on are:

  • Making sure citations cite a version of the package - CITATION/codemeta/README files should include versions, as should our review badges.
  • Including author identifiers - promoting use of author ORCiDs more. Author roles are in good shape.
  • Archiving - eventually making sure all RO packages go to a scientific repository, not just JOSS packages.



@cboettig any thoughts on this?