Data: Cite it right!

Provide a citation for your data to enable others to discover and cite it

It’s not enough to share your research data. It’s important to make sure that other people can cite it! Providing a way for researchers to cite your dataset when they use it facilitates data discovery and helps ensure you get credit for your work. Citing data recognizes data as a substantial output of the research process, encourages reproducible work, and allows for citation and impact analysis, just like an article.

You can provide a citation to your data for others to use by including it in the README file for your data, or you can create a special citation file. Providing a citation helps others cite the data in the way that you want them to.

Elements of a citation to include:

  • Creator/author:  Who were the major contributors to the data?
  • Title: Give a descriptive title for the dataset. Article supplemental datasets may include the title of the article that the data is related to: “Data for [article title]”
  • Publisher: Where is the data hosted?
  • Publication date
  • Version
  • Persistent identifier: A persistent identifier, such as a digital object identifier (DOI), provides a permanent locator that points to your dataset; it may be provided by the data repository in which your data is stored.

Need help incorporating citation information into your README file or have questions about data citation? Contact the Data Management Services team at