Attribution in a CRAN package


Hi everyone,

I’m developing an R package that models sequencing counts with Stan. I used rstantools::rstan_package_skeleton() to set the package structure up and use rstan to run the models. I’d like to release my package under GPL-3. Upon releasing it to CRAN, the licensing line from stanmodels.R (written out by rstantools) caught the attention of the CRAN maintainers:

We are missing the copyright holder

Copyright © 2015, 2016, 2017 Trustees of Columbia University

in the authors list. Please add all authors and copyright holders in the
Authors@R field with the appropriate roles.

From the CRAN policies you agreed to:

"The ownership of copyright and intellectual property rights of all
components of the package must be clear and unambiguous (including from
the authors specification in the DESCRIPTION file). Where code is copied
(or derived) from the work of others (including from R itself), care
must be taken that any copyright/license statements are preserved and
authorship is not misrepresented.

Preferably, an ‘Authors@R’ would be used with ‘ctb’ roles for the
authors of such code. Alternatively, the ‘Author’ field should list
these authors as contributors.

Where copyrights are held by an entity other than the package authors,
this should preferably be indicated via ‘cph’ roles in the ‘Authors@R’
field, or using a ‘Copyright’ field (if necessary referring to an
inst/COPYRIGHTS file)."

Please fix and resubmit.

My question is: how do I properly cite/attribute Stan and it’s derivative software – specifically rstan and rstantools – in a CRAN package, ensuring that I’m properly compliant with their licenses?

I presume the inst/COPYRIGHTS file they mention is the way to go, but what should I list there? Would the BibTex output of citation(‘rstan’) and citation(‘rstantools’) be enough?

Thanks for any help.

1 Like

It is usually enough to put something in the authors line of the DESCRIPTION file like

I usually also specify the comment argument to person to indicate what file or files are copyrighted, like “src/stanmodels.R” and “tools/make_cc.R”. But rstantools should have specified that for you, so my guess is that it got deleted somewhere along the way.

1 Like

Okay, thank you!