Elements of data citation

 The principles should extend to all disciplines and all types of data. As will be seen below, the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles reflects various efforts and presents a broad convergence on eight core principles:

  1. Importance. Data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citations should be accorded the same importance in the scholarly record as citations of other research objects, such as publications.

  2. Credit and Attribution. Data citations should facilitate giving scholarly credit and normative and legal attribution to all contributors to the data, recognizing that a single style or mechanism of attribution may not be applicable to all data.

  3. Evidence. In scholarly literature, whenever and wherever a claim relies upon data, the corresponding data should be cited.

  4. Unique Identification. A data citation should include a persistent method for identification that is machine actionable, globally unique and widely used by a community.

  5. Access. Data citations should facilitate access to the data themselves and to such associated metadata, documentation, code and other materials as are necessary for both humans and machines to make informed use of the referenced data.

  6. Persistence. Unique identifiers, and metadata describing the data and its disposition, should persist – even beyond the lifespan of the data they describe.

  7. Specificity and Verifiability. Data citations should facilitate identification of, access to and verification of the specific data that support a claim. Citations or citation metadata should include information about provenance and fixity sufficient to facilitate verifying that the specific time slice, version and/or granular portion of data retrieved subsequently is the same as was originally cited.

  8. Interoperability and flexibility. Data citation methods should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the variant practices among communities but should not differ so much that they compromise interoperability of data citation practices across communities.

Source: Altman, M., Director of Research and Head/Scientist, Borgman, C., Professor and Presidential Chair, Crosas, M., Director of Data Science and Matone, M., Co‐Director (2015), An introduction to the joint principles for data citation. Bul. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 41: 43-45. doi:10.1002/bult.2015.1720410313

Examples of data citation


Hurk, T. Van Der, Gemeente Delft * Delft, Afd. Onderzoek En Statistiek (Primary Investigator). (2007). Stadspanel Delft 2000 - VSO [Data set]. Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).


Hurk, T. Van Der, Gemeente Delft * Delft, Afd. Onderzoek En Statistiek (Primary Investigator) (2007) “Stadspanel Delft 2000 - VSO.” Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS). doi: 10.17026/DANS-27A-TF83