Cite your data sources!

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

citation needed sign    data

You’re familiar with the importance of citing the literature that you use in your paper.  But did you know that it’s equally important to cite the sources of the data that you use?

Authors don’t always rigorously cite their data sources—have you ever had a hard time finding the data underlying a publication?—but citing data is equally important in order to:

  • Give the data producer appropriate credit
  • Enable readers of your work to access the data, for their own use and to replicate your results
  • Fulfill publisher requirements

Need guidance and examples?  See the Libraries guide to citing data.  For help in citing data—or in identifying sources of data behind publications—contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, mcneillh@mit.edu.

Want to know more about improved standards and practices in the field for data citation?  See:

Image credits: futureatlas.com [CC-BY-2.0], infocux Technologies [CC-BY-NC-2.0]

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