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Medical & health Thing 7: Data citation for access & attribution


Citation analysis and citation metrics are important to the academic community. Find out where data fits in the citation picture.

Getting more out of your citation

Data citation continues the tradition of acknowledging other people’s work and ideas. Along with books, journals and other scholarly works, it is now possible to formally cite research datasets and even the software that was used to create or analyse the data.

1. Have a look at this dataset from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging. Data Citations are available from the Thomson Reuters Data Citation Index - note the number of times this dataset has been cited.
2. Scan through the ANDS introduction to data citation

3. Now look at the Hutchinson Drought Index data record in Research Data Australia.

  1. This research data makes cross disciplinary connections between episodes of drought and correlated increases in rural mental health issues.
  2. The beauty of this record is that it shows the entirety of the research outputs - publications, software, related datasets and more - all of which are citable.
  3. Click on the ‘Cite’ button to see the similarities between the formats for citation of data and other scholarly publications. Did you notice that, as yet, there are no citation metrics to this record?

Consider: Data citation is a relatively new concept in the scholarly landscape and as yet, is not routinely done by researchers, or expected by most journals. What could be done to encourage routine citation of research data and software associated with research outputs?

Data Citation Principles

The Force11 Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles are based on the premise that data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice and is part of the scholarly ecosystem supporting data reuse.

Since they were published in 2014, the Principles have been endorsed by numerous individuals and more than 100 data centres, publishers and societies.

  1. Start by reading the Force11 Principles
  2. Then browse the list of people and organisations that have endorsed the Principles

Consider: Given such support and clear direction, why do you think data citation has not been uniformly adopted, so far, across all disciplines?

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