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Research Data Management: Data Citation

Research Data Management

What is Data Citation

Data citation is the practice of giving a reference to a dataset, which facilitates the access and discovery of data underlying a publication and acknowledges the contribution of researchers responsible for the data.

Online Tool

DOI Citation Formatter is an online tool provided by DataCite, which can generate data citations in different referencing styles. You may paste a DOI in the online form and select a style you want to use.

Please Click HERE

Further Information

Australian National Data ServiceData Citation

DataOneData Citation and Attribution

Dataverse ProjectData Citation

Digital Curation CentreHow to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications

Data Citation Format

Most of the referencing style guides, such as APA and MLA, do not provide clear instruction on data citation formats. Some data repositories may provide citations in a specific format when users download the datasets.

Below are the generic formats suggested by DataCite:

  • Mandatary elements

         Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Publisher. Identifier

  • Version and Resource Type are optional elements

         Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType. Identifier

When you are preparing your manuscripts, please be aware of the following:

  • Look for the instruction on data citations from the author guidelines section provided by the publishers for which your manuscripts are prepared. If no such instruction is available, you may align the data citation format with the citation styles for the bibliographical referencing.

  • Check if the publishers accept data citations. Citing data is a relatively new practice – some publishers may not accept data citations, but authors may refer to the journal article using the dataset they want to cite, rather than the dataset itself.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

DOI is one type of persistent unique identifiers, which has been assigned to data for facilitating data retrieval and citations.

Explanation of the Persistent Unique Identifiers and Data Citation



It is important to include the DOIs in data citations, provided that the datasets have one, because DOIs can be used to track the number of times the datasets have been cited.

Getting a DOI

If you want to get a DOI for your data, you may publish it in a data repository or a data journal. You may check if the journals for which your manuscripts are prepared have recommended data repositories. The Journal of Scientific Data has selected a list of data repositories recommended to its authors at HERE.

Examples of data repositories, which can provide DOIs, include: