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This guide is to help students and faculty with finding, sharing, and using data.

Citing Data from Others

Properly citing data assists in the research process by giving data creators proper credit for their work, aids replication, provides permanent and reliable 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 ICPSR). 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. URL for the Data Source

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 cite-able:

  1. Appraise your data to determine where in the data life-cycle 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
    Identify online repositories of research data, get help obtaining persistent identifiers for datasets, workflows and standards for data publication, or link underlying data to your published articles.
  • figshare
    A repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a cite-able, shareable and discover-able manner.
  • Dryad
    Find and archive data files associated with any published article in the sciences or medicine.
  • Open Researcher & Contributor iD (ORCID)  Icon
    Researchers can obtain a free, unique digital identifier to distinguish their research activities from others with similar names.

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