Using BibTeX for dataset citation

As I’ve written before we chose to use BibTeX as our lowest common denominator citation export format.

Despite our focus on datasets the adoption of BibTeX came out of our researcher identification work and we were not really thinking very hard about BibTeX and data sets.

Obviously an oversight on our part. However at yesterday’s ANDS/Intersect meeting in Sydney there was some mention of how Evernote now supports dataset citation.

This reminded me that we had never actually resolved the question of dataset citation and BibTeX. However, as in all things google was my friend.

As with all things BibTeX theres more than one way of finangling it. JabRef suggests the use of an @electronic type, while others suggest using an @online or @misc type.

As we are talking about using BibTeX as a data interchange format the use of an @misc type is perhaps the most applicable as we are making no special assumptions about the capabilities of the application.

Therefore we’d be looking at something like

  title = {{MS Windows NT} Kernel Description},
  howpublished = {\url{}},
  note = {Accessed: 2010-09-30}

and for a dataset something like

author = {Claire O'Brien},
title = {{Impact of Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation on Intestinal Microbiota},
doi = {10.4225/13/511C71F8612C3},
howpublished= {\url{}} 

where we store the Digital Object Identifier as a url, as well as citing it normally. Obviously we could refine it further by expressing the researcher’s Orcid number as a url so that the user can access the object.

If we use JabRef to autogenerate an entry we end up with something very similar:

  author = {Claire O'Brien},
  year = {2013},
  title = {Impact of Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation on Intestinal
  language = {English},
  howpublished = {\url=},
  doi = {10.4225/13/511C71F8612C3},
  owner = {dgm},
  timestamp = {2013.11.28}

which is very similar, especially if we use  howpublished rather than url given the lack of a standard form for url citation in BibTeX. As I said earlier it may be preferable to use @misc in preference to @electronic when creating a lowest common denominator entry for reuse

Reference: Guide BibTeX pour la création de bibliographies avec LaTeX

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About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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3 Responses to Using BibTeX for dataset citation

  1. Pingback: Electronic resources and BibTeX | Building an archive solution

  2. Pingback: Using BibTex for artefact description | Building an archive solution

  3. Pingback: What do we actually mean by data retention? | Building an archive solution

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