Finding Data: Citing Datasets

Citing Datasets

First, consider whether you want to reference:

  • A dataset itself because you are reusing that dataset and providing your own analysis or other discussion?
  • The original researcher/s' analysis or discussion of the dataset?

If the 1st, you will want to cite the dataset itself, in addition to any citations of the original researcher/s' publications discussing the data. 

If the 2nd, you will cite the researcher/s' publications as normal, with a possible additional citation of the dataset if there is no direct link to the dataset from the original researcher/s' publication/s.

As datasets become more commonly referenced by researchers, citation styles are beginning to develop standardized formats for citation. Check the style guide you're using, such as APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and others to see if there is a standard method to cite data in that style.

Data Citation Overview from Data One

Download this PDF handout on Data Citation from DataONE to learn more about: 

  • What is data citation?
  • How to cite a dataset - what to include.

Image of a handout on Data Citation from DataONE - click the text link above or this image to get to the PDF online.

Data Services

Questions about data?

Contact Data Services at the library: