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Research Data Management at Queen's University

Guide to Research Data Management planning

Citing Data

Proper citation allows others to easily locate your research data and ensures you are given credit for your work. 

More on why you should cite data.

Developing a Citation

Citations for data sets are not yet standardized, however, a data set citation should include at least the following pieces of information, which will be arranged according to the style you use:

  • author or creator
  • title or description
  • year of publication
  • publisher and/or the database/archive from which it was retrieved
  • the URL or DOI if the data set is online

Certain styles may also ask for additional information such as:

  • edition or version
  • date accessed online

Here's a sample citation following the commonly-used American Psychological Associaton (APA) style:

Schonfeld, R.C., and Housewright, R. (2011). Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies (ICPSR version) [Data file]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR30001.

You will notice that this example contains all of the information listed above except for the date accessed online, which is not required for APA. For data sets without a title, APA recommends that you use a short description of the content of the resource in brackets in place of the title.

More sample citations:   Sciences   Non-sciences  (courtesy, Boston College)

DOIs, Handles, & Fingerprints...

DOIs, or Digital Object Identifiers are unique and persistent web addresses used to point to online articles and data.  They are the emerging standard for providing unambiguous links to data files.  Recently, Scholars Portal Dataverse started issuing DOIs for published data.  Before this, they issued file 'handles' which are a less-robust version of DOIs.  Here's a sample citation from Dataverse, including a DOI:

Angus Reid Institute, 2017, "Assisted Suicide, 2015 [Canada]", doi:10.5683/SP/YGTGCB, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1 [UNF:6:6ZqhpR4fxSSbTO1LgKFNOw==]                    

You'll note the inclusion of a 'UNF' or Universal Numeric Fingerprint.  UNFs are used primarily to confirm versions of a dataset. 

Useful links:

ORCID - Researcher ID made easy

ORCID is a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current researcher ID schemes.  For more information see Queen's ORCID Libguide.