How to cite datasets used in academic papers
Information for researchers: If you have used census or survey data as evidence in your academic publication, remember to cite this source in your publication, just as you would cite other sources.
Include a dedicated “data” section: The in-text pointer to the full citation should occur in a clearly delineated ‘Data Sources’ section of the publication, so that readers can immediately identify the data that underlies your work.
Add data sources to the reference list: Datasets are key research sources so citations to them should also be included in the bibliography/ sources cited/ references section of your publication. Bibliographies are more frequently indexed than full papers, so the citation will be made more visible by its inclusion here.
Include versioning: Datasets are often amended, as corrections are made to the data or metadata files. Changes in a dataset are indicated by versioning. It is vital for you to include version information when citing the data supporting your publication, to allow readers to identify the exact version of the data on which your research is based. Version information is included in the metadata for the data available from DataFirst’s online microdata catalogue.
For datasets downloaded from DataFirst’s online microdata portal, including the unique study ID will ensure identification of the version used.
Suggested citation method:
Gauteng City-Region Observatory. GCRO Quality of Life Survey, 2009.[dataset]. Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory [producer], 2010. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2011. [zaf-gcro-gcroqls-2009-v1].
Mattes, Robert. Afrobarometer: Round 2.5 Survey of South Africa, 2004 [dataset]. South Africa: Institute for Democracy in South Africa [producer], 2004. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2011. [zaf-idasa-afb-2004-v1].
Statistics South Africa. General Household Survey 2010 [dataset]. Version 2. Pretoria. Statistics South Africa [producer]. 2011. Cape Town. DataFirst [distributor], 2011. [zaf-statssa-ghs-2010-v2].
Statistics South Africa. Population Census, 1970 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2000. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2011. [zaf-ssa-census-1970-v1.1].
University of Cape Town, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) 2008, Waves 1-3. [dataset]. Version 3. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit [producer], 2010. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2011. [zaf-datafirst-nids-2008-v3].
Based on: Ball, A. & Duke, M. (2011). ‘How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available Online: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/how-guides/cite-datasets