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Finding Data and Statistics

tools & strategies to help you find data & statistics

Why Cite Data?

When you incorporate information that is not your own into your academic work, it is important to cite it. 

The IU Student Code of Conduct states, “Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge”. 

This includes formulas, theories, graphics, pictures and data.

Citing data is not just to avoid plagiarism. It also does the following:

  • Gives credit to the original creator of the data
  • Enhances your credibility when you cite authoritative sources
  • Allows others to reproduce your trail of research
  • Allows others to locate additional information on your topic

General Rules

Attribution: below is from Data Librarian Hailey Mooney at Michigan State University 

 

Some style manuals provide instructions for the citation of data, and selected examples are listed on the Data Citations tab.  If the style manual you are using does not address data citations, you can follow these general rules.

Usually a style manual will lay out basic rules for the order of citation elements, regardless of the type of work.  If you can’t find a generic list of rules, then look at how the citation for a book is formatted.

These are the citation elements you need to consider when building a data citation:

Author

Who is the creator of the data set?  This can be an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization.

Title

What name is the data set called, or what is the name of the study?

Edition or Version

Is there a version or edition number associated with the data set?

Date

What year was the data set published?  When was the data set posted online?

Editor

Is there a person or team responsible for compiling or editing the data set?

Publisher and Publisher Location

What entity is responsible for producing and/or distributing the data set?  Also, is there a physical location associated with the publisher?

In some cases, the publisher of a data set is different than how we think of the publisher of a book.  A data set can have both a producer and a distributor.

The producer is the organization that sponsored the author’s research and/or the organization that made the creation of the data set possible, such as codifying and digitizing the data.

The distributor is the organization that makes the data set available for downloading and use.

You may need to distinguish the producer and the distributor in a citation by adding explanatory brackets, e.g., [producer] and [distributor].

Some citation styles (e.g., APA) do not require listing the publisher if an electronic retrieval location is available.  However, you may consider including the most complete citation information possible and retaining publisher information even in the case of electronic resources.

Material Designator

What type of file is the data set?  Is it on CD-ROM or online?

This may or may not be a required field depending on the style manual.  Often this information is added in explanatory brackets, e.g. [computer file].

Electronic Retrieval Location

What web address is the data set available at?  Is there a persistent identifier available?  If a DOI or other persistent identifier is associated with the data set it should be used in place of the URL.

Data Citation Examples

Attribution: below is from Data Librarian Hailey Mooney at Michigan State University

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.