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The UK's largest digital collection of social sciences and population research data

Collection level citation

Robust citation methodology.

We only provide access for the most current version of data, as changes can be made to data due to errors, or updates that make the older versions inadvisable to use. As yet, we have not seen requests for older versions, as most users are looking for the most up to date social and economic information.

So, our citation does not point directly to data files but to metadata. Each collection-level (catalogue) record is assigned a DataCite DOI when published. The format is of the type: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-3314-1.

Versioning to these DOIs only happens when we make changes that have 'high impact' in terms of usability. We thus distinguish between low and high impact changes.

High impact changes:

  • addition or removal of a variable
  • significant new documentation
  • promote a new DOI (with an increment -1, -2 etc.)

Low impact changes:

  • correcting typos
  • small changes in labels
  • no new DOI

The DOI resolves to a jump page which lists the history of changes (e.g. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7037-3).

Our citation format

We use the APA citation format as default:

Office for National Statistics. Social Survey Division, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Central Survey Unit. (2015). Quarterly Labour Force Survey, January - March, 2012. [data collection]. 5th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7037,

We also offer citations in other formats such as DataCite, Dataverse, Harvard and Vancouver and exportable in CSL and EndNote XML formats.