Much like journal articles, data and software are research products. Research takes time and a lot of hard work, so by citing a researcher's data or software, you are giving them their due credit and also increasing the quality of your own scholarship by showing what resources you've investigated to form your own conclusions. Generally, citations give credit to the authors or producers of the original work, and they enable readers to locate, identify, and analyze the resources drawn on for their work.
Citing data is very similar to citing journal articles, and many style manuals (APA, Chicago, MLA) offer guidance. At minimum, every data citation should include the following:
Persistent Identifiers are generally issued by the repository holding the data and include such identifiers as: Digital Object Identifier (DOI), Globally Unique Identifier (GUID), Archival Resource Key (ARK), Uniform Resource Name (URN), or any identifiers generally based on the Handel System. URLs are not persistent identifiers but are okay to use in cases when no persistent identifier is provided.
Citation from ICPSR
ABC News. (2007). ABC News Education Poll, February 1990. (ICPSR version) [data file and codebook]. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi:10.3886/ICPSR09440.v1
ABC News. 2007. ABC News Education Poll, February 1990. ICPSR version. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services. Distributed by Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. doi:10.3886/ICPSR09440.v1.
ABC News. ABC News Education Poll, February 1990. ICPSR version. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-01-26. Web. 11 Mar 2015. doi:10.3886/ICPSR09440.v1
Please be aware that not every publisher, professor, or software developer holds the same opinions about citing software. If the software you use has specific information about how the developers would like to be cited, follow their request.
For any software you believe contributed to your research, add a citation to it into your references section or bibliography.
Software purchased off-the-shelf:
ProductName. Version. ReleaseDate. Publisher. Location.
SuperScience. 1.2. December 2012. ResearchSoftware. Edinburgh, UK.
Software downloaded from the web:
ProductName. Version. ReleaseDate. Publisher. Location. DOIorURL. DownloadDate.
OGSA-DAI REST. 4.2.1. December 2012. OGSA-DAI Project. http://sourceforge.net/projects/ogsa-dai. 27/04/2012.
Software provided by a researcher:
ProductName. Author. Location. ContactDetails. ReceivedDate.
BestFFTroutine ever file. Fred Bloggs, EPCC, The University of Edinburgh, UK. Fred.firstname.lastname@example.org. 27/04/2012.
For more information, I highly recommend reading the Software Sustainability Institute's article titled "How to cite and describe software," which is where I found these examples.
Jackson, M. (n.d.). How to cite and describe software. Software Sustainability Institute. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://www.software.ac.uk/how-cite-software
The Principles of Data Citation from Force 11 Working Group (abridged):
Data Citation Synthesis Group: Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles. Martone M. (ed.) San Diego CA: FORCE11; 2014 https://doi.org/10.25490/a97f-egyk