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Open Data & Data Management

Citing Data

When using datasets for your research, you must cite them just as you would a journal article or other publications.  Data citation acknowledges the original author or producer and helps others find the data. There is not one set way to cite data, but there are guidelines you can follow. 

Citation Elements

A data citation should include at least the following elements:

  • Author or creator. This can be an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization.
  • Title of the dataset or study
  • Version
  • Name of data center, repository, and/or publication
  • Analysis software, if required
  • Date accessed
  • URL and/or DOI/DOI link or other persistent link

If you have a DOI, you can enter it into the DOI Citation Formatter to create a data citation.


Helpful Guides:

How to Cite Data from MSU Libraries

Digital Curation Center: How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications

ICPSR - FAQ on Data Citation

University of Oregon Data Management Best Practices