There are more good reasons to reference datasets, especially for teachers and students. Here are the 7 reasons I think we should citing data in the statistics classroom as well as the best guide on how to do it.
In general, data citations are essential to giving proper credit to those who collected, managed, and even stored the datasets we use. In education, the reasons are both practical as well as ethical:
- It helps teachers locate the original data from (their own or other teachers') lessons and activities should they need to return to the source.
- It makes it easier for teachers to share datasets and ideas with other educators.
- It strengthens the credibility of the lesson, assignment, or activity.
- It provides students with data-retrieval information should they want to investigate further.
- It allows teachers to properly evaluate student work that involves the use of datasets.
- It reinforces the practice of appropriately using citations for academic work.
- It encourages the idea that there are statistically-interesting and interdisciplinary explorations from real-world data.
And even better, some are not shy about letting you know exactly how they want you to cite their data if you use it, like here with the USGS Water Data for the Nation website. I'm fairly certain more sites with publicly available data will be following suit.
A big thanks to the many people from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies who gave me guidance with this post. Go Orange!