Citations

Alex Schaffer schaffer at cs.rice.edu
Fri Dec 5 09:31:36 EST 1997


The recent discussion thread suggested that it is a reasonable
policy to cite no more than one paper per software package.
I think with this policy linkage analysts shoot themselevs
in the foot severely by communicating to software developers
that they are not interested in improving exisiting packages.

If I want to recruit a student to improve some exitsing software, the
possibility that a resulting paper may be cited many times is
important. I know we all should be doing science for its own sake, but
let's face the fact that for students having an oft-cited paper makes
a big difference in career prospects.

If I have to tell a student: "Look, a lot of people will use your
improved code, and we can write a good paper, but nobody will cite
your paper, because I already wrote one," How would you expect the
student to react?

The sole reason I ask FASTLINK users to cite two papers is so that
the (then) student authors who are on one of the two papers can 
all get proper credit. 

In most journal settings an extra citation costs the author nothing,
except a little extra effort. 



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