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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Managing Data Sets: Citations, Licensing, and Ethical Issues

Citations and Recognition

It's important to cite data in order to:

  • Give the data producer appropriate credit.
  • Allow easier access to the data for re-purposing or re-use.
  • Enable readers to verify your results.

Typically, the following elements should be included when citing a data set:

  1. Author(s)
  2. Title
  3. Year of Publication
  4. Publisher (the data center/repository)
  5. Any application identifier (including edition or version)
  6. Availability and access (URL or doi/doi link)

An example of how to appropriately cite data would be:

Irino, T; Tada, R (2009): Chemical and mineral compositions of sediments from ODP Site 127‐797. Geological Institute, University of Tokyo.

DataCite - gives examples of data citation.

ICPSR - offers guidelines and best practices for citing social science research data.


When applying a license to your own data, you are encouraged to make it as open as appropriate to enable others to use and build on your data. Here are some sources of information on data licensing and open data licenses: