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In short:

I have ported a package in another programming environment, and I want to write a paper of my ported package. Would it be considered cheating?

In details:

I have implemented a package in Python, that is modeled after an R package, which means my package has the design and APIs similar to original's.

The authors of original R package has published an official paper about the package on Journal of Statistical Software. And now I want to write a paper about my python package.

The point is, since the design and APIs are similar, the structure and content of the my paper would be similar to that of the original package's paper. For example, in the original paper, the authors explained what Corpus class is, and in my paper, I would explain that my python-version Corpus has similar attributes.

The biggest differences are brought by the environments and dependence, and some language-specific details.

So, would it be considered cheating if I write the paper of ported software? Of course, the relative sections of my paper would include the comparisons between two packages and I would cite the original paper as appropriate as I can.

1 Answer 1

I'd counter some of the other answers and say not only should it be fine, but there's a range of avenues you could explore for publication, as long as you consider the type of publication and journal carefully. (As well as following the advice already given about citing the original work thoroughly and highlighting differences in your implementation.)

Consider that many journals may have additional manuscript types that authors can submit instead of a traditional Research Article. They're often called Technical Communications or similar, and are intended to be short articles on a technical development that is novel and useful to research. This type of article might be best suited to your contribution.

The Software Sustainability Institute also lists a whole range of journals appropriate for publishing scientific software.

Software (including ports, new versions etc.) may not be "pure science", but it is certainly useful for researchers to know about, and I feel it should definitely be written about and published where appropriate. (And not just on github or on blogs!)