Open Data Policy Guidelines » Guideline 12

Charge data-creating agencies with recommending an appropriate citation form

While failure to provide attribution for government data should never be actionable, users of government data should be encouraged to note the origin of data sources by accurately citing those sources. The practice of citing government data can be encouraged by having direct data managers develop model citations for their data sets. These model citations should both list key elements of the source’s identity that would be required to effectively identify an individual data source and identify the unit of government which created or maintains the data. Where data users are actually transforming government data in some way, encouraging the proper citation of government data will allow end users to distinguish between problems with government data quality and intermediary data quality by providing a clear route back to the original source of the data.

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