For Approval: Academic Citing License

Evan Prodromou evan at
Sun Sep 26 21:17:55 UTC 2004

On Sun, 2004-09-26 at 22:55 +0200, Johannes Kaiser wrote:

> Thus the license would have to include a condition that all (scientific) publications produced with 
> the help of my program or parts thereof must cite a specific journal 
> article. This condition is very similar to the widely adopted "you may 
> change this code but you must reproduce this license" [...]

This is where you're mistaken: this is _nothing_like_ the requirement to
have license notification. That's a restriction on the publication of
the work itself. You're trying to restrict the publication of the output
of the program -- a very clear restriction on use.

I would suggest that you license your work under one of the already-
approved Open Source licenses, and add a _reminder_ in the documentation
for your work that scientists who use your code to make new discoveries
are obliged through both professional courtesy and thoroughness of
reference to cite your original article.

(I'd think this would only be the case if your work represented a
significant scientific advance in a related field of study. I don't
think an ornithologist should feel obligated to cite articles on the
Nautilus file manager just because she used it to keep her records in

Good luck,


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