I've written a statistical software package and published a paper on it. Recently, it appears to have received moderate use, but with at least less than a 50% citation rate. I know this because Google Scholar will tell me that a paper mentions the name of my software package (it's a nonsense word, so this shouldn't be by chance), but the paper will not cite the package itself; in some cases there will be something like "We used package X for statistical programming language R", with a citation for R but not X.
One the one hand, I'm glad people are using my tools and that makes me happy. On the other hand, I would like citations due, if just from a career standpoint. My guess is that many researchers may not be aware that a citation should be included; I estimate that the majority of users of the package probably work outside the field of statistics. R makes it very easy to cite software (
R> citation("X") gives you the bibTex)...but I didn't even know that until I started writing software.
It's my view that at least some of the responsibility should lie with the reviewers/editors. Would it be impolite to point this out to the editors of the journal? I really don't want to be in the business of harassing the users of my software, nor trying to point the finger at them either. Or is it just accepted that you should expect a little under a 50% citation rate?
A good question was asked in the comments: what do I hope to achieve? I'm not 100% sure! I suppose I'm wondering if there's a polite way to raise awareness of proper citations for software? Both writing software and continuing to support users of the software is fairly time consuming (I would estimate I've spent over 300 unfunded hours on those two tasks?), but I'm convinced it's one of the ways statistics researchers can be most helpful to outside researchers. As such, I suppose I would like to gently push the system to be more supportive of that effort...without being a grumpy ol' stats guy complaining about anyone who uses their contributions.