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Statistics

A guide to information and research sources for statistics.

Guides for citing data

The current editions of the major style guides for citing sources - including APA, Chicago, and MLA - do not provide explicit guidelines for citing data sets. The information below is provided by the International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST) as a set of guidelines for creating references that are traceable, measurable and compatible with the major style guides.

ELEMENTS OF DATA CITATION

  • Author: Name(s) of each individual or organizational entity responsible for the creation of the dataset.

  • Date of Publication: Year the dataset was published or disseminated.

  • Title: Complete title of the dataset, including the edition or version number, if applicable.

  • Publisher and/or Distributor: Organizational entity that makes the dataset available by archiving, producing, publishing, and/or distributing the dataset.

  • Electronic Location or Identifier: Web address or unique, persistent, global identifier used to locate the dataset (such as a DOI). Append the date retrieved if the title and locator are not specific to the exact instance of the data you used.

These are the minimum elements required for dataset identification and retrieval. Fewer or additional elements may be requested by author guidelines or style manuals. Be sure to include as many elements as needed to precisely identify the dataset you have used.

FOR EXAMPLE

Arrange these elements following the order and punctuation specified by your style guide. If examples for datasets are not provided, the format for books is generally considered a generic format that can be modified for other source types.

APA (6th edition)

Smith, T.W., Marsden, P.V., & Hout, M. (2011). General social survey, 1972-2010 cumulative file (ICPSR31521-v1) [data file and codebook]. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

MLA (7th edition)

Smith, Tom W., Peter V. Marsden, and Michael Hout. General Social Survey, 1972-2010 Cumulative File. ICPSR31521-v1. Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011. Web. 23 Jan 2012. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1

Chicago (16th edition) (author-date)

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

Reference

"Quick Guide to Data Citation." International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST), 2012. Retrieved from http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/files/ICPSR/enewsletters/iassist.html. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.