How to cite Phabricator

Is there a recommendation how to cite (usage of) Phabricator in a scientific publication?

I’m not sure what you’re asking for.

I usually expect scientific papers to use citations to reference other sources of information that provide context or support the methods or conclusions of the paper. For example, a paper on land snails might build on earlier work about sea snails, and cite research papers about sea snails to support discussion of how land snails and sea snails differ.

I don’t normally expect scientific papers to use citations to describe tools which were used in an experiment. For example, I believe a paper on snails would not normally cite or describe the particular brand of microscope it used to look at the snails: it would just say “a microscope was used”, or, if necessary, specify the particular characteristics of the microscope that are relevant to applying the method (“a microscope was used to examine the snail at 1000x”).

So, if you’re using Phabricator as a tool, I would not expect you to cite it. And it’s not clear to me how “usage of Phabricator” could be a reference source. But, if you’re writing a scientific paper for publication, I’d expect you to have a much better idea of how citations work in scientific papers than I do.

Can you explain what you want in more detail?

Dear E Priestly

I understand your question. Let me try to explain.

I don’t normally expect scientific papers to use citations to describe tools which were used in an experiment.

Sorry, but this is what some of us scientists actually do. Ideally, we describe our experiments in sufficient detail to enable other researchers to reproduce our experiments to confirm our results (or for them to inform the interested public that they cannot reproduce them). I have written papers where I state which brand/model of headphones where used and which brand/model of acoustic calibration equipment was used to ensure a defined presentation volume. This brand/model reference works for equipment that you can buy of the shelf.

If I use a software for acoustic signal processing written by another researcher, then I want to mention that software in my publication as well. I would either find how they want to be cited in their software release, find a suitable scientific publication on my own, or ask them. If I cannot find a suitable citation through any of these methods, then I would cite their WWW URL.

Now Phabricator per se is a unlikely tool to be mentioned in a scientific publication, I agree. But the publication that we author at the moment is about a software tool that can be used by researchers to conduct experiments. We want this publication to be cited by other researcher using our tool to conduct their experiments. To develop this software tool, we use Phabricator for issue tracking, code review, documentation, decisions, etc. I want to give credit to Phabricator in this publication describing our software tool, because it helps us so much with the development. I can use a URL, or another publication. What do you prefer?

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I chime in to say it is an excellent practice to cite software for reproducibility. There is a lot of effort in doing software preservation now to make science reproducible. It is ideal citing tools like phabricator in a paper, as it helps understand how the team works and organises itself.


We have now cited Phabricator by URL:
[47] Phabricator