ROxygen2 now allows all MARC Relator Codes for Author Roles

A suggestion that I submitted to the roxygen2 project for R has been implemented, allowing the use of all “MARC Relator” codes when describing authors’ roles in a project.

When creating an R package,

A “package” in R is similar to an “add-on” or “extension” in a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome – it is freely available, can be installed by a user, and adds or makes easier new functionality for the base program. For information on R packaging, including this topic specifically, see Hadley Wickham’s excellent and freely-available book on the topic.
participants’ contributions are listed through standardized codes. For example, authors are noted using the code aut, package creators with the code cre, funders with the code fnd, etc. Previously, roxygen2, which is widely used to facilitate creating R packages, understood 10 roles: author, compiler, contributor, copyright holder, creator, contractor, data contributor, thesis advisor, translator, and funder.

With this new change, roxygen2 will now accept all codes in the “MARC Relator” list, a standardized collection of almost 300 different project roles into which individuals can be classified (for any type of project). This will allow giving credit more specifically where it’s due, including, for example, to:

  • Designers (dsr)
  • Engineers (eng)
  • Programmers (prg)
  • Conceptors (ccp)
  • Consultants to a project (csp)

Allowing use of all MARC roles also follows Allen, Scott, Brand, Hlava, and Altman’s (2014) call in Nature to assign credit more broadly and accurately, by allowing authors to use codes that map well onto Allen et al.’s proposed taxonomy of credit.

This is a minor update, but I think that its utility will be large. I’m grateful for the roxygen2 team’s consideration of it!