Skip to main content

Social Science Data Research Guide

Research Guide to Social Science Data to support the Social Science Research & Instructional Center (SSRIC).

Citing Data

When writing a paper or doing a presentation, it is important to cite the data files used, even data files that you produced. Citing data is important in order to:

  • Give the data producer appropriate credit
  • Enable readers of your work to access the data, for their own use or to replicate your results

Elements of a citation include:

  • 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 other location information for the data

Examples:

  • Complete dataset, e.g.:
    • Bachman, Jerald G., Lloyd D. Johnston, and Patrick M. O'Malley. Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 1998 [Computer file]. Conducted by University of Michigan, Survey Research Center. ICPSR02751-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 2006-05-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02751.
    • ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model, version 1, ASTGTM_N11E122_num.tif, ASTGTM_N11E123_num.tif, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan and NASA, downloaded from https://wist.echo.nasa.gov/api/, October 27, 2009
  • Subject archive entry, e.g.:
    Genbank accession number, available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Examples of Citing Data

Examples using the General Rules

APA (6th edition)

 

Minimum requirements based on instructions and example for dataset reference:

Milberger, S. (2002). Evaluation of violence against women with physical disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001 (ICPSR version) [data file and codebook]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414

With optional elements:

Milberger, S. (2002). Evaluation of violence against women with physical disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001 (ICPSR version) [data file and codebook]. Detroit: Wayne State University [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414

MLA (7th edition)

 

Minimum requirements based on instructions and examples for books and web publications:

Milberger, Sharon. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, 2002. Web. 19 May 2011.

With optional elements:

Milberger, Sharon. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Detroit: Wayne State U [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. Web. 19 May 2011. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414

Chicago (16th edition)

 

Bibliography style (based on documentation for books):

Milberger, Sharon. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Detroit: Wayne State University, 2002. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, 2002. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414.

Author-Date style:

Milberger, Sharon. 2002. Evaluation of Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001. ICPSR version. Detroit: Wayne State University. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03414.

Why and how should I cite data?