Data citation refers to the practice of providing a reference to data in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to other research outputs such as journal articles, reports and conference papers.

Data citation is important because:

  • It leads to recognition of data as a primary research output.
  • It facilitates reproducible and transparent research.
  • Only cited data can be counted and tracked to measure impact.
  • Citations for your published data can be included in researcher profiles (e.g. ORCID) curricula vitae etc.
  • It increases the citation rate of those publications.

DataCite provides a recommended minimum format for citing data:

  • Required elements: Creator | Publication Year | Title | Publisher | Identifier (a URL, DOI or other persistent identifier)
  • Options elements: Version | Resource Type (e.g. ‘dataset’)

Follow your style manual or publisher's advice for citing data. If no format is suggested for datasets, take a standard data citation style and adapt it to match the style for textual publications.

The DataCite DOI Citation Formatter is an online tool for formatting citations (just paste in the DOI) in hundreds of different styles.