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Citation information


Meaning & purpose

Citation is the preferred form for citing a dataset or collection to enable data to be referenced in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to publications. Use of this element enables datasets to be cited independently of any associated publications. Citation of datasets promotes recognition of their value as research outputs in their own right and facilitates reuse.

Citation metadata can be recorded as a single text string or split into its components that can be more readily machine-read (preferred). The CitationInfo element is a wrapper for the child elements:

  • CitationMetadata: component elements that describe a citation; or
  • FullCitation: a single text string that describes a citation

The child elements listed below are contained within the CitationMetadata wrapper element. The format and obligations of the elements ensure the CitationMetadata element is flexible and extensible enough to cater for citation requirements across disciplines, and is closely aligned with other standards including the DataCite Metadata Schema:

  • an Identifier, and its Type (see the list of Citation Information Identifier Types below). The Identifier element and its Type are mandatory.
  • a Contributor(s) for the main researchers involved in producing the data, or the authors of the publication, in priority order. A Contributor is mandatory. Optionally, Contributor names may be expressed using the NamePart child element.
  • a Title for the name of the dataset or collection. A Title is mandatory.
  • the Version of the dataset or collection. Version is optional.
  • a Publisher of the dataset or collection (the name of the entity that holds, archives, published, prints, distributes, releases, issues or produces the resource). As this property is used to formulate the citation, consider the prominence of the role. In the case of datasets, "publish" is understood to mean making the data available to the community of researchers. A Publisher is mandatory.
  • the PlacePublished (location name) for the dataset or collection. A PlacePublished is optional.
  • a Date associated with the publication of the dataset or collection. A Date is mandatory.
  • the Url of the dataset or collection being described. A URL is only required if the Identifier does not resolve or provide access to the data.
  • the Context (e.g. series title, database name) of the resource being cited. Context is optional.

Citation Information attributes

Citation Metadata

Citation Identifier Type

If CitationMetadata is used, an Identifier and its Type are required. Preferably specify a type from the Identifier Type vocabulary. Local types may also be used.

Citation Date Type

If CitationMetadata is used, a Date and its Type are required. Preferably specify a type from the Citation Date Type vocabulary. Local types may also be used.

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 the date when the data was or will be made publicly available


 the date the resource is made publicly available. May be a range, or indicate the end of an embargo period


 the date the resource itself was put together; this could be a date range or a single date for a final component, e.g. the finalised file with all of the data


 any relevant date not otherwise specified


 the date that the publisher accepted the resource into their system


 the date the creator submits the resource to the publisher. This could be different from dateAccepted if the publisher then applies a selection process


 use when publicationDate is a range


 the date that the resource is published or distributed e.g. to a data centre


 the date of the last update to the resource, when the resource is being added to. (Equivalent to Datacite 'Updated')


 use when publicationDate is a range


 the date or date range during which the dataset or resources are accurate

Citation Contributor Sequence attribute

If more than one contributor is recorded in CitationMetadata, the Sequence attribute can optionally be used to specify the order in which contributors should appear in a formatted citation. Use cardinal numbers to denote the sequence.

Full Citation

Citation Style attribute

If a citation is provided as a block of text within the FullCitation element, optionally the Style attribute can be specified, preferably from the Citation Style vocabulary. Local terms may also be used.

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 Harvard University


 American Psychological Association


 Modern Language Association of America


 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors


 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers


 Council of Science Editors


 Chicago Manual of Style


 American Medical Association


 Australian Style Manual


 Australian Guide to Legal Citation


 American Chemical Society


 International Data Citation

Use in Research Data Australia

Where CitationInfo has been provided, the citation will display in Research Data Australia when the 'Cite' button is clicked:

  • Citations provided in CitationMetadata will display in the DataCite format (see p.11).
  • Citations provided in FullCitation will display in the style provided e.g. APA, Vancouver.

The citation can be exported to referencing software such as EndNote or EndNote Web.  

Citation identifiers are displayed within Research Data Australia as provided by the data provider, as clickable links (when possible), and prefixed with the identifier type.

If CitationMetadata is used, then parties are ordered in the citation in the order defined in the metadata, otherwise the parties are listed in the order they appear under the record title in the citation.

Best practice

Providing a citation for collections in Research Data Australia is recommended. Citations support the reuse of, and long-term access to, collections. 

  • Use CitationMetadata in preference to FullCitation as it facilitates reuse of citation information by third parties, e.g.
    • exporting records to bibliographic software such as EndNote and Mendeley
    • citation tracking and indexing services such as the Data Citation Index.

  • Contributors included in the citation should be linked to the collection record containing the citation in either of two ways:
    • By providing the party identifier(s) (e.g. ORCID) in the RelatedInfo element, or
    • By being described in party records and linked to the collection record in the RelatedObject element.

  • Preferably specify a Citation Style if FullCitation is used.

Identifier and URL elements in CitationMetadata

  • The Identifier element is required to facilitate conformity with citation schemas such as DataCite which includes the identifier as a mandatory element. Preferably provide a globally unique, persistent and resolvable identifier for the collection (preferably a DOI) in the CitationMetadata Identifier element. (If a resolvable identifier is provided in the Identifier element of the collection record, then use this in the CitationMetadata Identifier element).
  • The URL element (to access the data) is required only where the CitationMetadata Identifier element is not resolvable or does not provide access to the data (URLs are not explicitly provided for in the DataCite schema, since DOIs are assumed to be resolvable). If the Identifier element already contains a URL, then this should not be repeated in the URL element.

XML encoding examples

For the reference: Irino, T; Tada, R (2009): Chemical and mineral compositions of sediments from ODP Site 127-797. V. 2.1. Geological Institute, University of Tokyo. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.726855.

CitationMetadata example:

      <identifier type="doi"></identifier>
      <contributor seq="1">
         <namePart type="family">Irino</namePart>
         <namePart type="given">T</namePart>
      <contributor seq="2">
         <namePart type="family">Tada</namePart>
         <namePart type="given">R</namePart>
      <title>Chemical and mineral compositions of sediments from ODP Site 127-797</title>
      <publisher>Geological Institute, University of Tokyo</publisher>
      <date type="publicationDate">2009</date>

CitationMetadata example:

      <identifier type="local">CIT001</identifier>
      <contributor seq="1">
         <namePart type="family">Butler</namePart>
         <namePart type="given">C</namePart>
      <contributor seq="2">
         <namePart type="family">Stevenson</namePart>
         <namePart type="given">R</namePart>
      <title>Oral History 2</title>
      <version>1st edition</version>
      <placePublished>Houston, Texas</placePublished>
      <publisher>NASA Johnson Space Center</publisher>
      <date type="date">1999</date>

FullCitation example:

     <fullCitationstyle="Datacite"> Irino, T; Tada, R (2009): Chemical and mineral compositions of sediments from ODP Site 127-797. V. 2.1. Geological Institute, University of Tokyo. (dataset). https://doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.726855 

Change history

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Date            Change history
26 Oct 2010First publication
24 Jan 2011Corrected RIF-CS examples to reflect required sequence of elements; added link to DataCite examples page
13 July 2011Additional information about exporting citation information
21 July 2011Removed link to now-deleted DataCite examples page
21 Nov 2011Added information about new publisher element introduced with RIF-CS v1.3.0, amended examples to include publisher, added definitions for date vocabulary
29 Nov 2011Added link to information about URL displays for identifiers
30 Nov 2011

Corrected date type in second RIF-CS example (was "year", now "date")

10 Oct 2012Removed "initial" name parts from xml examples
19 Nov 2012Updated to reflect changes endorsed by RAB to align this element with the DataCite schema
12 Dec 2013Added information to the Best Practice and Use in Research Data Australia sections.
15 July 2014Added information about exporting Research Data Australia records to EndNote.
06 Sep 2018Added information about ordering of parties in the citation pop-out in Research Data Australia.
1 Mar 2019Updated Full Citation XML example to reflect current DataCite schema requirements (v4.1). Updated link to DataCite citation format.
30 Oct 2019Updated the advice regarding the display order of parties in the citation pop-out in Research Data Australia (R34)

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