Q. How do I cite a dataset?
Data requires citations for the same reasons journal articles and other types of publications require citations: to acknowledge the original author/producer and to help other researchers find the resource.
A dataset citation includes all of the same components as any other citation:
- year of publication,
- publisher (for data this is often the archive where it is housed),
- edition or version, and
- access information (a URL or other persistent identifier).
Unfortunately, standards for the citation of data are not uniformly agreed upon and have yet to be codified by the National Information Standards Organization (an organization that sets technical standards for other bibliographic materials). However, many data providers and distributors and some style manuals do provide guidelines. Be sure to follow the general citation format for the style manual your professor has asked you to use. It is always better to provide more information about a resource rather than less!
Example in APA 6th:
Milberger, S. (2002). Evaluation of violence against women with physical disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001 (ICPSR version) [data file and codebook]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414