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Research Data Management & Sharing: Citing Data

This guide provides resources on research data management and sharing.

Why is Citing Data Important?

It is important to cite data in order to give credit to the individuals who collected and organized the data. By sharing data, you make your own data citable, which increases your research impact and allows your data to be used by others. In order to make your data easily citable, you want to ensure it has a persistent identifier. 

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 Advice

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 OECDICPSR, and the Roper Center). 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 citable:

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

DataCite

DataCite

DataCite is the leading global provider of DOIs for research data. 

Persistent Identifiers

Persistent Identifiers are crucial to ensuring your data is citable and shareable. A persistent identifier is actionable, globally unique, and persistent for at least the life of your data. DOIs are the most popular form of Persistent Identifiers, but a list of all identifiers, as identified by the DMPTool, are as follows: