National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

Why and how should I cite data?

Why should I cite data?

Citing data files in publications based on those data is important for several reasons:

  • Other researchers may want to replicate research findings and need the bibliographic information provided in citations to identify and locate the referenced data.

  • Citations appearing in publication references are harvested by key electronic social sciences indexes, such as Web of Science, providing credit to the researchers.

  • Data producers, funding agencies, and others can track citations to specific collections to determine types and levels of usage, thus measuring impact.

Where do I find the citation?

Citations for ICPSR data can be found in the following locations:

  1. Study descriptions that appear on the Web site
  2. File manifest
  3. PDF study description file

Both the file manifest and the PDF study description file are automatically included with every download. Thus, every download is accompanied by a copy of the standard citation that can be copied and pasted with ease.

What do the citations look like?

Here are some examples:

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll, May 2007 [Computer file]. ICPSR24588-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-04-17. doi:10.3886/ICPSR24588

United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census, and United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Current Population Survey: Annual Demographic File, 1987 [Computer file]. ICPSR08863-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-03. doi:10.3886/ICPSR08863

Johnston, Lloyd D., Jerald G. Bachman, Patrick M. O'Malley, and John E. Schulenberg. Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 2007 [Computer File]. ICPSR22480-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-10-29. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22480

Hall, David, Clement Leduka, Michael Bratton, E. Gyimah-Boadi, and Robert Mattes. Afrobarometer Round 3: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Lesotho, 2005 [Computer file]. ICPSR22203-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-05-19. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22203

Note that we also include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at the end of each citation. A DOI is a unique persistent identifier for a published digital object, such as an article of a study, providing a link to the article or study. This means that if you publish an article using ICPSR data and you include the DOI in the data citation, you make it easy for other researchers to get back to the original data.

How can I let ICPSR know about my publication?

Users of ICPSR data are required to send us bibliographic citations for each completed manuscript or thesis abstract. This allows us to provide funding agencies with essential information about use of archival resources and facilitates the exchange of information about the research activities of principal investigators.

Email bibliography@icpsr.umich.edu to submit citations for inclusion in our Bibliography.