What Are Citations?
Citations are a standardized way to reference another work as the source of your information. Citations may have different formats depending on the writing style, but they typically include elements such as the author, title, and publication date.
While not legally required, the City of Austin is requesting that when you create something using data from data.austintexas.gov, you include a reference back to the dataset(s) you used. We have provided a framework for citing data below, including a digital object identifier (DOI) system, which creates persistent identifiers for our datasets and allows people to easily search and view relevant information.
Why Should I Cite Open Data?
Citing information is already either a requirement or best practice in many fields, such as journalism and academia, but it is also useful for citizens, community activists, developers, and everyone in between. Citing sources adds evidence and credibility to your work by informing others where you are getting your information.
By citing data, you are also strengthening the connection between the data publishers and consumers. Open data publishers often do not have insight into how their data is being used. However, when citations are used with the associated DOIs, publishers can see how you are using their data and better measure the value of providing that information.
How Should I Cite Data from Data.AustinTexas.Gov?
We ask that proper credit be given when using content, data, documentation, code, and related materials from Data.AustinTexas.gov or other sources publicly available from the City of Austin in your own work. This can be in any format appropriate for the writing style (MLA, APA, etc.), and an example citation in APA format is provided below:
Emergency Medical Services Department. (2014). EMS - Incidents by Month [Data set]. City of Austin, Texas Open Data Portal. https://doi.org/10.26000/001.000001
You can also copy and paste a dataset’s DOI into a citation formatter tool (like this one) to automatically create a citation in a variety of formats. Each component of a citation can be found on the dataset’s “Primer” page, which contains the metadata for the dataset. The DOI at the end of this citation is a particularly important component because it acts as the persistent identifier of a dataset, which we can use to automatically track the use cases of open data.
- Publish your work online! We would love to see how you are using Austin’s open data.
- Include the citation text in a visible location (not in the metadata or otherwise hidden).
- If you would like to get in contact with us or share an exciting open data project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org