Data citations and persistent identifiers (DOIs)
Citations for published articles or books will be familiar to every researcher, but data can, and should, be cited as well.
Many longitudinal studies have published “Cohort profile” articles which can be cited in the same way as any other academic publication. Some studies have multiple published cohort profiles which have been updated as the cohort/study has developed over time. It is advisable to use the cohort profile version(s) that is the most relevant to the data you have used.
For example, if you have used the age 60-64 data of the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), it would be appropriate to cite the updated NSHD cohort profile from 2011 which outlines this sweep of data collection, alongside the original NSHD cohort profile from 2005 which describes the study design and sample from the start of the study.
You may be familiar with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for published papers and articles, but data can also be assigned a DOI.
The UK Data Service assigns a DOI to each dataset which means that anyone using the DOI will be taken to the cited edition of a dataset, even if the location of the dataset online has changed.
When you or others use data from a secondary data source, such as longitudinal population studies, make sure to cite the data. All data held at the UK Data Service is given a DOI and a citation that you can use in your publications.