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Find Data for Analysis

Popular sources for accessing research data sets for dissertations or class projects

Components of a Data Citation

Citing your data source is just as important as citing your other research sources.  For other scholars to be able to examine and extend your work, they must be able to find the original data.

Few citation style guides offer guidance on how to cite data.  Use the key components listed below and work them into the style you're using.  Please note, this set of recommendations should not be taken as the final word on styles.  If you have a question, check with your faculty advisor or the publication where you hope to publish.  

Key Elements of a Data Citation


Author or CreatorThe name(s) of each individual or organizational entity responsible for the creation of the dataset.

Title or Study NameThe title of the dataset, including the edition or version number, if applicable.

Publisher and/or DistributorThe organizational entity that makes the dataset available by archiving, producing, publishing, and/or distributing the dataset.  

Publication DateThe date when the data set was published or released.

Location or IdentifierWeb address or unique, persistent, global identifier used to locate the dataset, e.g. a DOI or a handle.  Append the date retrieved if the title and locator are not specific to the exact instance of the data you used.

Additional Elements

Version or Edition—The exact version or edition of the data set.

Access DateDate of access for analysis. Needed to reproduce analysis of continuously updated dynamic datasets.

Format / Material Designator—Database, CD-ROM.

Feature NameA description of the subset of the dataset used.  May be a formal title or a list of variables.

VerifierUsed to confirm that two datasets are identical.  Most commonly a UNF or MD5 checksum.

SeriesUsed if the dataset is part of series of releases (e.g. monthly, yearly).

Contributore.g. editor, compiler 

(Source: http://datapub.cdlib.org/datacitation/)

If you have a DOI, try this automatic data citation formatter (beta).  Will format according to style.
 
Examples of Dataset Citations


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 Hunt. 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

Examples of how to cite statistical tables published in a publication or on a website
Michigan State University Libraries has put together a comprehensive guide on how to cite statistical tables and charts.  The guide is filled with examples and is very helpful.

Examples

Examples of Dataset Citations


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 Hunt. 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

Examples of how to cite statistical tables published in a publication or on a website
Michigan State University Libraries has put together a comprehensive guide on how to cite statistical tables and charts.  The guide is filled with examples and is very helpful.