Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Citing Data from Others
Properly citing data assists in the research process by giving data creators proper credit for their work, aids replication, provides permanent and reliable information about the data source, helps track the impact of the data, and facilitates resource discovery and access.
Provide citations for data sets when you have either conducted secondary analyses of publicly archived data or archived your own data being presented for the first time in the current work.
If you are citing existing analysis or statistics, cite the publication in which the data were published (e.g., a journal article, report, or webpage) rather than the data set itself.
Citing Data: How and Why
Brief presentation on the principles of data citation including elements, considerations, and examples.
Citing Data - Chicago Style example
- Smith, Tom W., Peter V. Marsden, and Michael Hout. 2011. General Social Survey, 1972-2010 Cumulative File. ICPSR31521-v1. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1
- Romer, Christina D., and David H. Romer. 2010. "Replication data for: The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks." American Economic Association [publisher], Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. https://doi.org/10.3886/E112357V1.
- U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Census Tract-Level Data, 1960. Ann Arbor, MI, 13 December 2007. Distributed by The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. ICPSR07552-v1. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07552.v1.
- Thernstrom, Stephen. Boston Mobility Study, 1880. 2nd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI, 1986. Produced and distributed by The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. ICPSR 7550. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07550.v1.
Principles of Data Citation
- Credit and Attribution
- Unique Identification
- Specificity and Verifiability
- Interoperability and Flexibility
Five Elements of a Data Citation
The five elements of a data citation:
- Who: Who is the author of the data?
- What: Title
- Where: Repository. Where are the data stored?
- How: Persistent identifier. How can you find the repository?
- When: Date of retrieval
Citing Data - APA Style example
O’Donohue, W. (2017). Content analysis of undergraduate psychology textbooks (ICPSR 21600; Version V1) [Data set]. ICPSR. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36966.v1
Parenthetical citation: (O’Donohue, 2017)
Narrative citation: O’Donohue (2017)
Components of a Data Citation
- Provide citations for data sets when you have either conducted secondary analyses of publicly archived data or archived your own data being presented for the first time in the current work.
- If you are citing existing data or statistics, cite the publication in which the data were published (e.g., a journal article, report, or webpage) rather than the data set itself.
- The date in the reference is the year of publication for the version of the data used.
- Provide the title of the data set in italics.
- Then provide any numerical identifier and version number for the data in parentheses without italics, separated by a semicolon.The bracketed description is flexible (e.g., “[Data set],” “[Data set and code book]”).
- Provide the publisher of the data set in the source element. ICPSR is one common example.