Skip to main content

* Data and statistics: Data Citation

Locate and use numeric, statistical, geospatial, and qualitative data sets, and find data repositories to house your own data.

Citation Examples Using General Guidelines

Use the recommended citation for the data set if one is provided either with the dataset or on the publishers website (e.g. terms and conditions, frequently asked questions, etc...).  

If there is not a recommended citation and your style guide does not offer specific citation requirements for data or other source types, the format for books is considered the generic format that should be modified and used.

APA (6th Edition, p. 211)

Pew Hispanic Center. (2004). Changing channels and crisscrossing cultures: A survey of Latinos on the news media [Data file and code book].
Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/datasets/

MLA (7th Edition)

Smith, Tom W., Peter V. Marsden, and Michael Hout. General Social Survey, 1972-2010 Cumulative File. ICPSR31521-v1. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011. Web. 23 Jan 2012. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

APSA (Revised 2006, p. 30)

Purdue University. 2007. Controversial Facilities in Japan, 1955-1995 [computer file] (Study #4725). ICPSR04725-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007. doi:10.3886/ICPSR04725.

NLM (2nd Edition)

Entrez Genome [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information. [date unknown]. Haloarcula marismortui ATCC 43049plasmid pNG200, complete sequence; [cited 2007 Feb 27]. Available from: http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db= genome&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Overview&list_uids=18013

Chicago (16th Edition, p. 693)

Bibliography style (based on documentation for books):

Milberger, Sharon. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Detroit: Wayne State University, 2002. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, 2002. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414.

Author-Date style:

Milberger, Sharon. 2002. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Detroit: Wayne State University. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414.

ACS

SciFinder, web; Wiley Subscription Services, Inc, 2014; RN 50-78-2.

GSA

Whitlow, J. W., 1969. Sample: AAM367, USGS National Geochemical Database. URL: http://mrdata.usgs.gov/ngdb/rock/show-ngdbrock.php?lab_id=AAM367. Accessed June 24, 2014

Citing Data

Properly citing data assists in the research process by giving data creators proper credit for their work, aids replication, provides permanent andreliable information about the data source, helps track the impact of the data, and facilitates resource discovery and access.

Citing Data From Others

In many cases, a data provider will include recommended citation formats (i.e. the U.S. Cenus, OECDICPSR, the Roper Center, and the Social Science Electronic Data Library). Recommended citations can come either with the dataset or from elsewhere on the website.  Also note that the producers of a particular dataset may request that users of the data cite a publication in which the data are described, rather than citing the dataset (i.e. the Database of Political Institutions). 

When a data provider does not recommend a citation format, we recommend these general citation guidelines:

  1. Author/Principal Investigator
  2. Year of Publication
  3. Title of the Data Source
  4. Edition/Version Number
  5. Format of the Data Source (e.g. [Computer File], [CD-ROM], [Online], etc.)
  6. Producer of the Data Source
  7. Distributor of the Data Source
  8. Identifier or permanent URL for the Data Source

Check out the library's Citation Guide for help with the various styles used on campus.

Getting Your Data Cited

Increase your citation rates by allowing other researchers to cite your data as well as your publications.  There are three key steps to making your data more accessible and citeable:

  1. Appraise your data to determine where in the data lifecycle it could/should be published.
  2. Recommend your prefered citation format with your published data (include enough information in the citation to denote an exact version of your data). 
  3. Obtain a persistant identifyer for your data to make finding and citing it easier for others.

Subject Guide

Justina Elmore's picture
Justina Elmore
Can’t find a time on my schedule that works for you? Meet with the on-call librarian at tinyurl.com/rcloncall
   
                             
        Chat is unavailable, feel free to email me.      
   
Contact:
Outreach, Learning & Research
Rush Rhees Library, 755 Library Rd, Rochester, NY 14627
League of Librarians
(585) 276-7845
Website / Blog PageSkype Contact

Outreach Librarian for the Social Sciences

Justina Elmore's picture
Justina Elmore
Can’t find a time on my schedule that works for you? Meet with the on-call librarian at tinyurl.com/rcloncall
   
                             
        Chat is unavailable, feel free to email me.      
   
Contact:
Outreach, Learning & Research
Rush Rhees Library, 755 Library Rd, Rochester, NY 14627
League of Librarians
(585) 276-7845
Website / Blog PageSkype Contact

Data is... or Data are... Which is it?

Though there is much debate about this, for now most style guides still maintain that:

Data is plural and thus requires a verb in plural form  (e.g. The data show an increase in activity...).

Datum (which translates as "data point") is singular and requires a verb in singular form (e.g. Every datum shows a unique...).

For more examples, check out the APA style Blog post entitled Data Is, or Data Are? by Tyler Krupa.