21.193 how to cite software

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 06:44:25 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 193.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 06:42:04 +0100
         From: Stephen Ramsay <sramsay_at_unlserve.unl.edu>
         Subject: Re: 21.189 how to cite software?

On Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 08:49:23AM +0100, Humanist Discussion Group
(by way of Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>) wrote:
> >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.

The Weka folks undoubtedly would like you to use their (excellent)
free software to advertise their commercial publication, but citing in
this way is not an acceptable practice according to the style guides I
have lying around (which makes sense, since most software is not
associated with a print publication).

For downloaded software, the MLA (for example) recommends the name of
the program, the version number, the date it was downloaded, and the
URL. Their example, in fact, uses the work of our revered colleague
John Bradley:

*TACT: Text-Analysis Computing Tools*. Vers. 2.1 gamma. 30 Apr. 1997

(Ah, gopher. Now that brings back memories!)

The rules are slightly different for software that is published on
some physical medium, but the emphasis remains on the version number
and the date.


Stephen Ramsay
Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
PGP Public Key ID: 0xA38D7B11
Received on Wed Aug 01 2007 - 01:52:47 EDT

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