Normally a python library has a paper or user manual by the same name. Jim Pivarski's uproot doesn't appear to, the closest thing I can find is https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.06307

Should I cite that paper or cite the github repo? (https://github.com/scikit-hep/uproot)

  • 1
    Just cite both. – user2768 Sep 25 '20 at 9:48
  • @user2768 So far that seems like the most sensible way forward. I know Jim uses this site, so I was hoping he would have an opinion on what he'd like cited and then it would be in the public domain. – Clumsy cat Sep 25 '20 at 9:58

Uproot and Awkward Array both have Zenodo badges, which link to a page that has a lot of ways to cite the software (copy-paste to BiBTeX, etc.)

The papers are conference proceedings that emphasize different things, not all of which are the software itself. (One of them covered user feedback in a series of interviews, very different from a design document.)

New versions (including Awkward 1 and Uproot 4, after the name swap is done) will be added to the same sequence, so if someone follows one of these DOIs to its Zenodo page, they'll find cross-references to newer versions. So all in all, I think this is a better way to cite them. :)

  • Knowing about the badge thing is good :) – Clumsy cat Sep 26 '20 at 10:26

You can cite the paper using the arxiv number and add a link to the github repo in a footnote. As a basic example:


In this work, we make use of the uproot package* for array calculations [1].

* www.github.com/scikit-hep/uproot


[1] Pivarski et al., "Awkward Arrays in Python, C++, and Numba", arxiv: 2001.06307

  • Not sure why this got downvoted. It seems reasonable to me and it does answer the question. – Clumsy cat Sep 25 '20 at 9:56

I would citate it like this:

J. Pivarski et al. *Awkward Arrays in Python, C++, and Numba. CHEP 2019 proceedings, Jul. 2020.

However, this is the publication place where it is supposed to be published but not very sure about it. However, it should work for other academics to find the paper.

  • So, I'm actually wondering about if the citation should reference the paper or the github repo, given the paper is only tangentially related to the library I want to cite. I am clear on how to cite the paper (it's an arxiv preprint, so arxiv is the publisher). :) – Clumsy cat Sep 25 '20 at 9:37
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    Oh okay! I would rather citate the paper instead of the library but it also depends on the journal. I generally prefer references to papers for two reasons: you give the citation to the author, that is important for statistics, and second, because it is generally safer to citate the paper since it has passed a peer-review process. That's my opinion but nothing else. – Gabriel Galeote-Checa Sep 25 '20 at 9:43

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