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Research Data Management

Persistent identifiers and data citation

FAIR Data Principles from Force11

Force11 offer a set of guiding principles to make data FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable.

Force 11 is a community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers and research funders that has arisen organically to help facilitate the change toward improved knowledge creation and sharing.

Sound, reproducible scholarship rests upon a foundation of robust, accessible data.

For this to be so in practice as well as theory, data must be accorded due importance in the practice of scholarship and in the enduring scholarly record. In other words, data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice and is part of the scholarly ecosystem supporting data reuse.

The benefits of data citation

What is data citation?

Data citation refers to the practice of providing a reference to data in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to outputs such as journal articles, reports and conference papers. Citing data is increasingly being recognised as one of the key practices leading to recognition of data as a primary research output. This is important because:

  • when datasets are routinely cited they will achieve greater validity and significance within the scholarly communications cycle
  • citation of data enables recognition of scholarly effort with the potential for reward based on data outputs
  • the use of data should be appropriately attributed in scholarly outputs as with other types of publication

Assigning a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to data facilitates data citation and is considered best practice.

A DOI is a type of persistent identifier that indicates a dataset will be well managed and accessible for long term use. It is now routine practice for publishers to assign DOIs to journal articles and for authors to include them in article citations.

(Australian National Data Service website at Accessed February 13, 2015)

Western Sydney University has joined the ANDS Cite My Data Service, which allows Australian research organisations to mint DOIs for datasets and collections so they can be included in data citations. The ANDS Cite My Data service functionality is built upon external DOI services offered through ANDS' membership with DataCite.

Example of data citation with DOI:
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Christopher; Kim, Jeesun (2014): Effect of auditory selective attention of brain responses. University of Western Sydney.

Please contact for further information on obtaining a DOI for research data.

Identifying Researchers

To allow the discovery of research datasets that share a common researcher or research group, a common public identifier is needed for referencing. There are a number of different ways to manage your researcher identity; one that is growing in use is the Open Researcher Contributor ID (ORCID). ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based initiative to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.

Data Citation Blogs

Data Citers - A place for the community to post and discuss all things about Data Citation

CrossTech blog by CrossRef

How to Cite a Data Set in APA Style - APA Style blog

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