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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This guide is for UBC Library Geospatial Services and Resources.

Why Cite Data?

In general, citations (i.e., references) give credit to others for their work and ideas and allow readers to track down the original work if they choose. Citing data has not always been standard practice, especially if it is data you have collected yourself, but as data becomes more and more widely shared, proper attribution is increasingly important. Citing datasets helps them become part of the scholarly record and gives proper credit to the creator of the dataset.

Citation also allows researchers to look at the underlying data supporting your research, to build upon your research, or attempt to reproduce your results. So don't forget to keep track our where you're getting your data from (as you gather it) and cite it!

How Do I Cite Geospatial Data?

Terms of Use & Copyright

Before using a data source in your research, you will need to check if there are any use restrictions. While data itself cannot be copyrighted, any product derived from that data can. This can apply to datasets as a whole, as well as charts and graphs created by online tools. There may also be privacy concerns related to the data itself, which would limit the ways the data can be used and shared. Users should always read the terms and conditions for each data source, especially if they intend to publish their research.

For more information and if you have any questions about copyright, contact the UBC Copyright Office.

Other Citation Resources

Manage Your Research Data

Research data is data created or generated as part of a research project,  and includes numeric data, text, transcripts, images, video and audio recordings, and more. Good research data management prevents data loss, stores data securely and facilitates data sharing.

UBC Library offers advice and services for research data management, including 

Learn more at the UBC Library Research Data Management Website and the Portage Training Materials site or attend one of the Library’s workshops. Check the instruction Calendar for dates and times. Workshops are added to the calendar at the beginning of each term.