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Instructions for Citing Datasets in Manuscripts

Information on citing SPARC data in a paper
Updated at: 05/17/2022

SPARC supports the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, which state: “Sound, reproducible scholarship rests upon a foundation of robust, accessible data. For this to be so in practice as well as theory, data must be accorded due importance in the practice of scholarship and in the enduring scholarly record. In other words, data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice and is part of the scholarly ecosystem supporting data reuse.”

To promote reproducibility and give credit to SPARC investigators who publish their data, we recommend the following practices for citing a SPARC dataset. To make it easy, the SPARC Portal provides the full data citation, including the option of different formats, under the About tab of each dataset landing page.

  • In the Methods or Data Availability section of your manuscript:

    Data associated with this study, Achanta et al (2020)*, were collected as part of the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program and are available through the SPARC Portal (RRID: SCR_017041) under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

    A detailed experimental protocol is available through

  • In the References section of your manuscript:

    The full data citation should be included in the reference list, as per recommendations of the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles and the policy being adopted by Nature Scientific Data. It can also be included in the data availability statement but should appear in the following form:

    Authors, Year, Title of the dataset, Version number, Data platform, DOI.

    Of course, this information will be formatted according to the reference style of the journal. To make it easy, the SPARC Portal provides a formatted data citation on the "About" page which can be exported into several bibliographic styles and imported into reference managers.

    Example of data citation:

    Achanta, S., Robbins, S., Moss, A., Gorky, J., Nieves, S., Tappan, S., Heal, M., Leung, C., Chen, J., Cheng, Z., Schwaber, J., & Vadigepalli, R. (2019). Molecular Phenotype Distribution of Single Rat Intracardiac Neurons (Version 6) [Data set]. SPARC Consortium.