Guidelines and Tools for Citing Data

Data citation is an invaluable tool of scholarly work. For authors of datasets, it is important that they receive attribution for their work. Citing data also allows readers to locate, access and reuse the data for their own use or for replication.

When citing data, the following components should be used:

  • Author name(s)
  • Title or name of dataset
  • Publication or release date
  • Publisher name (i.e. database, repository)
  • Edition, version, volume, vintage
  • Software used for analysis
  • Access information (URL, unique identifier, access date)

Always try to provide as much information as possible.


There is no one standard method for citing data. Many of the data repositories, archives, distributors or publishers have provided their own guidelines to assist researchers.

  • DataverseHanmer, Michael J.; Banks, Antoine J., White, Ismail K., 2013, "Replication data for: Experiments to Reduce the Over-reporting of Voting: A Pipeline to the Truth",, Harvard Dataverse, V2 [UNF:5:eJOVAjDU0E0jzSQ2bRCg9g==]
  • Dryad: Sidlauskas, B. 2007. Data from: Testing for unequal rates of morphological diversification in the absence of a detailed phylogeny: a case study from characiform fishes. Dryad Digital Repository. doi:10.5061/dryad.20
  • Zenodo: Franco, Luis et al (2013). "interactive" version of data associated with the eLife paper "Integrative genomic analysis of the human immune response to influenza vaccination." eLife: (2013) pp. 00299. 10.5281/zenodo.6960
  • Roper Center

See also the DOI Citation Formatter from CrossRef

Note: Some sites may require further attribution such as the GES DISC.

Bibliographic & Data Citation Tools

Further Reading

Peter Buneman, "How to cite curated databases and how to make them citable," ssdbm, pp.195-203, 18th International Conference on Scientific and Statistical Database Management (SSDBM'06), 2006. Retrieved from

Altman, M., & King, G. (2007). A proposed standard for the scholarly citation of quantitative data. D-Lib Magazine, 13(3/4).  Retrieved from

Green, T. (2009). We need publishing standards for datasets and data tables. OECD Publishing White Paper. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from