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Data Management @ NAU

How should I cite data?

Most data repositories include a recommended citation for each dataset in the repository.

If not, we recommend you follow the dataset citation format developed by

Generic format:

Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Publisher. Identifier

Crofts, S; Summers, A (2014): How to smash a snail. Dryad Digital Repository.


Optional format -- include the Version and Resource Type:

Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType. Identifier


Find more details and examples on DataCite's "Why Cite Data?" page.

Read more about the importance of citing data at the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, created by Force 11.

Get credit for sharing data

NSF biographical sketches

The National Science Foundation changed their reporting rules in 2013 -- your biographical sketch can now include products “...including but not limited to publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.” (see NSF Grant proposal guidelines Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(c)).

As long your data set is in a publicly accessible repository, and it has a unique persistent identifier such as a DOI, you can get credit for your data in your NSF biosketch!

Data journals

Consider formally publishing your data in a data journal. Data journals are usually peer-reviewed and are designed to provide researchers with traditional scholarly reward opportunities. For example, Nature Publications data journal "Scientific Data."

See the Australian National Data Service's Data Journals Guide for more information.
Data Citation Index The Data Citation Index is a database for finding datasets, data repositories, and data studies. It tracks citations counts for datasets within indexed repositories -- search their Master Data Repository List to see if a particular repository is included.

What's a DOI?

DOI stands for "Digital Object Identifier" -- a DOI functions as a unique, persitent identifer.

A DOI name (for example: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2007.00778.x) is a unique character string assigned to an item within the DOI system. The DOI system stores the DOI name plus additional information such as the location of the object (for electronic documents, location is usually expressed as a URL).
DOIs can save users from the frustration of broken URLs. Searching for a document based on its DOI means you can locate the document no matter how often the URL changes, because the DOI system will resolve to the most recent URL listed for that DOI.
To express a DOI name as a URL: Add "" onto the front of the DOI name. For example:

DOI name: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2007.00778.x

See for more information.