James Darrell McCauley mccauley at
Mon Jan 23 17:37:09 EST 1995

Helena Mitasova (helena at writes on 23 Jan 95:
>Bill Baker writes:
>>There is a request in one of the README files that if the code is used
>>that a published article we wrote about the programs be cited. 

>>Do any code contributors have thoughts about how we can achieve some
>>of the minor rewards of developing and contributing code (i.e., it
>>gets used), while still having a little protection against use without
>>citation?  Maybe this is only important to those of us in academia
>>and elsewhere where citation is a measure of our value.  Perhaps 
>>I'm the only one concerned about this...

>Bill, you are not the only one and we share your concern. 
>Because GRASS is still a public domain software, very little
>can be done to protect its contributions.
>To continue our research work in a direction which can produce
>contributions to GRASS we need to prove that our contributions
>are used, important and have impact in the scientific comunity.
>The best way how to prove this is to present a list of citations
>from scientific papers where the contributed program was used.
>Reference to GRASS is not recognized as a sufficient proof as it is 
>too general.

dittos here. Perhaps some sort of statement should be made in a
README file or the manual of future releases asking folks to give
credit where credit is due. E.g., give an example citation:
  H. Mitasova, L. Mitas, I. Kosinovsky, and D. Gerdes. 1993. spline interpolation with tension. In: GRASS
    4.1 Reference Manual. M. Shapiro, J. Westervelt, D. Gerdes,
    M. Larson, K. Brownfield, eds. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
    Construction Engineering Research Laboratories: Champaign, IL.
and maybe ask authors to send reprints or at least email to
original contributors. I am making it a practice to cite
GRASS software this way. Helena - the preprint is in the mail :)

Many of us who contribute code could care less about financial
compensation [hence we contribute], but as a matter of professional
courtesy, it would be nice to know when/where things are useful.
Noone likes to feel unappreciated (sob sob ;-) but for some it's a
matter of survival ("justifying your existence").

We need some good bird dogs! Annecdote: recently someone asked me
about an article that appeared in some publication called "Personal
Engineering" - come to find out, it referenced a posting of mine to
sci.stat.consult about the libraries behind s.normal (a program for
testing normality). I had no idea that this was written.  This is not
the first instance (it's always a surprise to find your name listed in
the index of books, especially with respect to public domain
software). Moral of the story: if you see a reference made to a
particular GRASS program, let the contributor know. Maybe they
already know about the reference, but chances are they don't.

James Darrell McCauley, USDA National Needs Fellow
Agric Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1146, USA
mccauley at    +++

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