General rules and basic information about data citation

In the same way that you cite journal articles and books you reference in your publication, you may also need to cite any data your publication uses.

Citing data sets (spreadsheets etc.) is necessary to provide context and to give credit to your research.

Some style guides provide instructions for the citation of data, but if you can’t find a list of general rules, then consider these few elements when building your data citation:

Author: Creator of the data set (individual, group of individuals, organization).

Title: Title of the data set or name of the study.

Edition or Version: Version or edition number associated with the data set.

Date: Year of data publication.

Editor: Person or team responsible for compiling or editing the data set.

Publisher (= distributor): Entity (and location) responsible for producing and/or distributing the data set.

Producer: Organization that sponsored the author’s research and/or organization that made the creation of the data set possible, such as codifying and digitizing the data.

Material: Computer file or online article.

Electronic Retrieval Location: Web address where the data set is available including persistent identifier like DOI.

Examples using these General Rules:

APA (6th edition)

Smith, T.W., Marsden, P.V., & Hout, M. (2011). General social survey, 1972-2010 cumulative file (ICPSR31521-v1) [data file and codebook]. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

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

Chicago (16th edition) (author-date)

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

Also note that versions X5 and above of Endnote have a template for the ‘dataset’ reference type.

See the Endnote manual for information on how to use this reference type if you are unsure.

The library will be happy to help with data set citation.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s