Cite your data

Published research data should be cited in the same way as other scholarly outputs such as journal articles, reports and conference papers.

This is important because:

  • citing data in related publications increases the citation rate of those publications
  • routine citation of data acknowledges data as a first class research output and facilitates reproducible and transparent research
  • citations for published data can be included in CVs and ORCID records along with journal articles, reports and conference papers
  • only cited data can be counted and tracked (in a similar manner to journal articles) to measure impact

Citable data should be described with a minimum set of metadata to enable accurate citation. Best practice is for citable data to be assigned a persistent identifier, preferably a DOI, that can be included in the data citation to facilitate access to the data. Using DOIs helps to follow the 'FAIR' Principles for scientific data management – Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability.

The key metadata elements to include in your citation are: Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Publisher. Identifier 


Researchers can upload their datasets into the 4TU.ResearchData archive and then a DOI for each dataset will be provided. The citation, see an example above, is generated and presented automatically. You can easily copy and paste the citation into any document.

Assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to finalised datasets has many benefits including:

  • Journals prefer data which have DOIs assigned to them
  • Datasets to which a DOI is assigned stay persistently accessible
  • DOIs are searchable via search engines
  • Allows for the tracking of publications which have used or cited a researcher’s dataset

More information

You can find further information on Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and how to reserve a DOI for your dataset in advance on the 4TU.ResearchData website or contact RDM Support.

View the Why cite data video from the UK Data Service in which experts discuss why and how the research community should #CiteTheData.

On the RDM portal information on research data management is provided for every stage of your research project.