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Publish/Share > Citing Your Data
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Citing Your Data

It is important not only to cite published articles but also datasets within a publication. Citing datasets gives proper credit to the researcher and reduces the risk of plagiarism. See Describe > Data Citation for more information.

Data Citations

Examples of data citations for citing USGS released data

Engott, J.A., 2015, Mean annual water-budget components for the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, for average climate conditions, 1978-2007 rainfall and 2010 land cover: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Catchings, R.D. Strayer, L.M. Goldman, M.R. Criley, C.J. Garcia, S.H. Sickler, R.R. Catchings, M.K. Chan, J.H. Gordon, L. Haefner, S. Blair, L. Gandhok, G. and Johnson, M., 2015, 2013 East Bay Seismic Experiment (EBSE)--implosion data, Hayward, Calif.: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Example data citation for citing others data

The following example of a dataset citation is from the Earth Science and Information Partners (ESIP) reformatted to align with USGS citation style.

Zwally, H.J., Schutz, R., Bentley, C., Bufton, J., Herring, T., Minster, J., Spinhirne, J., and Thomas, R., 2003, GLAS/ICESat L1A Global Altimetry Data V018, 15 October to 18 November 2003: National Snow and Ice Data Center, accessed July 21, 2011, at doi:10.3334/NSIDC/gla01.

General guidelines for citing data

Different requirements apply when citing your own data. See Describe > Data Citation for more information on citing your data.

A typical data citation generally consists of seven elements:

  • Author or principal investigator
  • Release date
  • Title of the data
  • Version or edition number
  • Archive and/or distributer
  • Persistent locator/identifier [see Preserve > Persistent Identifiers for more information]
  • Access date and time

If relevant, other elements can be included such as data format, 3rd party producer, subset of the data, name of editor or contributor, publication place, data within a larger work.

See Describe > Data Citation for more information on citing your data.