The importance of data citation
When you are using data in any scholarly publication, data citations should be accorded the same importance as citations of other research objects, such as publications.
By citing your use of a dataset, you are supporting the reproducibility of your research and attributing credit to those who provided the data – including datasets that you have created yourself. Citations also allow for tracking reuse and measuring impact.
How to cite data
Citing data is very similar to citing traditional outputs like publications, but standards for the citation of data are not uniformly agreed upon. The exact way of citing data might therefore depend on specific author guidelines or style guides. Many data providers also recommend their preferred citation or supply an example.
In any case, the following elements are considered essential:
- Author: Name(s) of individuals (or organization) who created the dataset.
- Date of Publication: Year the dataset was published or disseminated.
- Title: Complete title of the dataset, including the edition or version number, if applicable.
- Publisher and/or Distributor: Organization that makes the dataset available by archiving, producing, publishing, and/or distributing the dataset.
- Electronic Location or Identifier: Web address or unique, persistent, global identifier used to locate the dataset (such as a DOI). Add the date on which the dataset was accessed if the title and identifier are not specific to the exact instance of the data you used.
Example citation of a dataset at the EUR Data Repository:
Hilverda, Femke; Vollmann, Manja (2021): Risk perception of COVID-19 and vaccine uptake among university students in the Netherlands. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). Dataset. https://doi.org/10.25397/eur.17182292.v1
The information on this page is based on the following sources:
- Ball, A. & Duke, M. (2015). ‘How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online: /resources/how-guides/cite-datasets
- Erasmus University Library: Citing Data guide
- IASSIST Quick Guide to Data Citation