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How to Cite Data: Home

The purpose of citations is to enable others to find the same sources you used. Data are like any other source and should be cited in your bibliography and your writing.

Library Data Services

Library Data Services caters to researchers interested in working with data, mapping, texts, visualization, and technology. Many of these services are available online. Davis Library Data Services, located on the second floor of Davis Library, offers:

  • A computing lab with specialized software for GIS and data visualization & analysis.
  • Walk-in assistance provided by knowledgeable student consultants during set hours
  • Consultations with specialists for more in-depth inquiries (by appointment).
  • Spaces for collaboration and presentation, complete with white boards and external displays.
  • Technology short courses and programs that promote digital scholarship.

About This Guide

This guide provides guidance on how to construct a citation for data. 

Because few citation style guides offer guidance on how to cite data, this set of recommendations should not be taken as the final word on styles.  If you have a question, check with your faculty advisor or the journal in which you hope to publish.

Pages in this guide:

  • Key Components - Find an explanation of why citing your data is important and the key elements that should be included in your citation.
  • Numeric Data - Citing numeric data sets is a little different than citing geospatial ones.  See here examples specific to numeric data.
  • Geospatial Data - See here examples specific to geospatial data.
  • Additional Resources - Find citation guides for specific sources, and related tools for making your data more share-able and find-able.

Why Cite Data?

Citing data is important for many reasons:  to acknowledge the work of others if the data are not your own, but even if they are your own, to enable others to find (and perhaps re-use) your data, increasing your research impact.  Citing your data enables others to cite your work, contributing to metrics that document your scholarly works and contributions in your field.

ICPSR provides a short video (2:28 minutes) about the full range of reasons to cite your data.

Data Librarian

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Michele Hayslett
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Data Management
Numeric Data
Census Data
Locating Data

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