Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College main website

Lucy Scribner Library

Data and Statistics: Finding and Citing

Bar Graph







Data is factual information used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.  It can be either quantitative or qualitative and can be represented in a variety of forms such as graphs, tables, or charts.  Statistics are numerical data that has been organized and interpreted. 

Data/Statistics can be found in a variety of sources including databases, websites, and print publications.  Below are some commonly used sources to find data in a variety of disciplines.

For more subject-specific data sources, consult the applicable subject guide.

Websites and Online Databases

Citing Statistics

When referencing a statistic within a paper/project, cite its source following the applicable style manual.

Example 1: Statistic

For example if referencing a statistic from a journal article, cite the journal article according to convention.

In-Text Citation:

"Hispanics remain the least insured Americans, with only 67 percent having coverage in 2014, in part because so many illegal immigrants are uninsured" (Tavernise & Gebeloff, 2016, p. A1).

Reference Citation:

Tavernise, S., & Gebeloff, R. (2016, Apr 18). One year later, many are finding relief in health care law. New York Times, A1. Retrieved from

Example 2: Table

For example if referencing a statistic from a table, cite the table according to convention.

In-Text Citation

In 2006 43 million households in the United States owned a pet (American Veterinary Medical Association, 2010).

Reference Citation

American Veterinary Medical Association. (2010). Table 1204: Household Pet Ownership: 2006. In U.S. Census Bureau (Ed.), Statistical Abstract of the United States (129th ed.). Retrieved from

Citing Data

Data requires citations for the same reasons journal articles and other types of publications require citations: to acknowledge the original author/producer and to help other researchers find the resource.

A dataset citation includes all of the same components as any other citation:

  • author,
  • title,
  • year of publication,
  • publisher (for data this is often the archive where it is housed),
  • edition or version, and
  • access information (a URL or other persistent identifier).

Unfortunately, standards for the citation of data are not uniformly agreed upon and have yet to be codified by the National Information Standards Organization (an organization that sets technical standards for other bibliographic materials). However, many data providers and distributors and some style manuals do provide guidelines. Be sure to follow the general citation format for the style manual your professor has asked you to use. It is always better to provide more information about a resource rather than less!

Example in APA 7th:

Milberger, S. (2002). Evaluation of violence against women with physical disabilities in Michigan, 2000-2001 (ICPSR 3414, Version V1) [Data set]. ICPSR.