21.189 how to cite software?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 08:49:23 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 189.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 08:40:58 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: how to cite software?

The Web has clearly affected the kinds of things that get into a
bibliography. In the case of online materials, such as websites, one
gives a URL and a date as a matter of course. If the item is no
longer online, there's the Wayback Machine, http://www.archive.org/,
which one assumes (a) will exist in whatever future when someone
wants to follow up on a cited source, and (b) will be known to the
person following the defunct citation. But what about software? Take,
for example, Weka, a collection of machine learning algorithms for
data mining tasks, http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/weka/. Under
"Citing Weka", the website says,

>If you want to refer to Weka in a publication, please cite the
><http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~ml/weka/book.html>data mining book.
>The full citation is
>Ian H. Witten and Eibe Frank (2005) "Data Mining: Practical machine
>learning tools and techniques", 2nd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, San
>Francisco, 2005.

Note the date of publication. Two years -- probably at least three if
you count the time in press -- is a long time in the software trade.
But how else will the fine work in Weka ever make it into the
bibliographic citation services? And what does this say about
recognition of software that for perfectly good reasons doesn't have
a manual in print? What does the say about our intellectual objects
as primary contributions to knowledge?


Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London |
http://staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/. Et sic in infinitum (Fludd 1617, p. 26).
Received on Tue Jul 31 2007 - 03:59:41 EDT

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