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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

Moschetti, M.P., 2017, Database of earthquake ground motions from 3-D simulations on the Salt Lake City of the Wasatch fault zone, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

McLeod, J.M., Jelks, Howard, Pursifull, Sandra, and Johnson, N.A., 2016, Characterizing the early life history of an imperiled freshwater mussel (Ptychobranchus jonesi): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Barber, L.B., Weber, A.K., LeBlanc, D.R., Hull, R.B., Sunderland, E.M., and Vecitis, C.D., 2017, Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in contaminated groundwater, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2014-2015 (ver. 1.1, March 24, 2017): 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.