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Try the DMPTool to create a data management plan.

Citing data is important in order to:

  • Give the data producer appropriate credit
  • Allow easier access to the data for re-purposing or re-use
  • Enable readers to verify your results

Citation Elements

  • Author(s)
  • Title
  • Year of publication: The date when the dataset was published or released (rather than the collection or coverage date)
  • Publisher: the data center/repository
  • Any applicable identifier (including edition or version)
  • Availability and access: URL or doi/doi link

Citation standards for data are still evolving. We are tracking a number of practices, including the DataCite Metadata Schema Repository and the ESIP Federation Data Citation Guidelines.


  • OECD (2008), “Social Expenditures aggregates”, OECD Social Expenditure Statistics (database). doi: 10.1787/000530172303 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/000530172303 (Accessed on 2008-12-02).
  • Smith, J. (2008), Figure 1.2. Broadband Penetration in OECD Countries, in OECD Communications Outlook 2008, OECD Publishing doi: 10.1787/000530172303 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/000530172303.
  • Cavalieri, D., C. Parkinson, P. Gloersen, and H. J. Zwally. 1996, updated 2006. Sea ice concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I passive microwave data, March 2002–Sept. 2003. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. url: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0051.html (Accessed on 2008-05-14).
  • Denhard, Michael (2009): dphase_mpeps: MicroPEPS LAF-Ensemble run by DWD for the MAP D-PHASE project. World Data Center for Climate. http://dx.doi.org/10.1594/WDCC/dphase_mpeps
  • Manoug, J L (1882): Useful data on the rise of the Nile. Alexandria : Printing-Office V Penasson. http://n2t.net/ark:/13960/t44q88124

Creator names in non-Roman scripts should be transliterated using the ALA-LC Romanization Tables. For more detailed citations and examples, see International Polary Year Data and Information Service, How to Cite a Data Set.

Credit to the University of Virginia's Scientific Data Consulting Group and the MIT Libraries for permission to use and adapt their data management planning pages, and to members of the UC3 community. Please send us any comments about these guidelines.

Commons License

Last updated: April 30, 2013
Document owner: Perry Willett