Data Citation

What is data citation?

The following description is from the Australian National Data Service, “Building a Culture of 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.  The ANDS Cite My Data Service allows Australian research organisations to mint DOIs for datasets and collections so they can be included in data citations.

What is a DOI? 

A DOI comprises alphanumeric characters and is unique. It has a prefix and a suffix, separated with a forward slash. The prefix for a DOI is ‘10’, distinguishing it from other Handle System identifiers. Following the prefix is a code for the publisher/organisation that is registering the DOI. The suffix then identifies the unique resource, and is known as the ‘item id’ 

ANDS Cite My Data and DataCite 

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) is a member of DataCite, an international organisation aiming to establish easy access to research data, increase the perception of research data as a legitimate contribution to the scholarly record, and support the archiving of data so that it may be accessible and usable in the future.  DataCite in turn is part of the International DOI foundation (IDF), a not-for-profit membership organisation that governs and manages the federation of Registration Agencies and provides DOI services. The IDF is the registration authority for the DOI standard, ISO 26324. 

Creating DOIs at Swinburne 

General Policy for Swinburne Researchers [PDF, 560KB]

Researchers and research groups wishing to generate DOIs for datasets should contact Research Information Services ( at Swinburne Research 

Analysis and Policy Observatory

Policy and Guidelines: DOI Allocation Policy for Australian Policy Online (APO) [PDF, 1MB]

Project Contact

Amanda Lawrence
Managing Editor
Australian Policy Online

DOI Custodian

Jaye Weatherburn
Information Project Officer
Analysis and Policy Observatory (formerly Australian Policy Online)

Astronomy Datasets on gSTAR 

Project Contact and DOI Custodian

Amr Hassan
gSTAR Projects and Engagement Support Leader
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing