Are you citing your data?
Article dated: 6 July 2012
No researcher would publish an article without including bibliographic references of their sources.
Yet many would not think to include citations for the datasets they have used.
Properly citing your data is good for the whole community. Data citation:
- acknowledges the author's sources
- makes identifying data easier
- promotes the reproduction of research results
- makes it easier to find data
- allows the impact of data to be tracked
- provides a structure that recognises and can reward data creators
These principles are fundamental to both ESDS and the ESRC, which expects its award holders to facilitate data sharing under the terms of its Research Data Policy.
ESDS is joining forces with the ESRC to raise awareness of the importance of citing data through a number of actions aimed at professional organisations, journal editors and publishers. The aim is to inform policies
and practices in order to foster a culture of data citation that benefits everyone in the academic social science disciplines.
In June 2012, more than 300 individuals received personal letters along with a brochure on the essential 'whys' and 'hows' of data citation using persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers (DOIs). In addition the ESRC will provide guidance on citing data on its website and as part of its Impact Toolkit for those who seek future funding.
ESDS is also spreading the word about citing data to researchers, students and other data professionals through ongoing communication and outreach. A webinar on DOIs was held in April as part of the JISC expert webinar series.
"ESDS has been requiring users to cite its data for years now, but until recently that's been a laborious process," says Director Matthew Woollard. "Now that every ESDS dataset is tagged with a unique and persistent
identifier, they are straightforward to cite, and even easier to locate and track. This could open a whole world of opportunities for researchers and data owners."