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Manage Your Research Data: Citing

Resources to help you prepare your data for open access and archiving

How to Cite Data

Data citation is evolving and there is currently no acknowledged standard on how to cite a dataset or construct a data citation.   Generally a data citation includes all the same components as any other citation.

  • Author/Creator(s): the creators of the data
  • Title: the title of the dataset
  • Version: the exact version or edition of the data set
  • Publication Date: the date when the data set was published or released
  • Publisher/Archive: the data center or repository that is archiving and distributing the data
  • Identifier/Locator: URL or other locator for the data (e.g. a persistent URL such as a DOI or a handle)

Authors should cite data they use according to established journal, professional guidelines, or data repository, if indicated. 

APA, MLA, & Chicago Examples

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

From the Quick Guide to Data Citation, International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology

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