About this citation guide

How and why it was developed

Bibliographic references are important when you are using the data or ideas of others in your written work: references credit your sources and permit your readers to find those sources.

The need for a consistent citation style becomes apparent when non-traditional materials—such as computer files, microdata, tables, maps and other statistical documents—are used as sources in books, reports, articles, papers and theses.

Citing statistics and data has been a neglected grey area in academic publishing. From our review of the literature of citation style guides, librarianship and data archives, and from our exchange of e-mails with some national and international statistical agencies, we found only a few specific data style guides. The citation styles preferred by scientific journals largely ignore datasets and tables.

This guide fills the void. It provides instructions and examples to help you create bibliographic citations for the full range of Statistics Canada's products as well as materials and components within them.

You can easily develop bibliographic references for virtually all of Statistics Canada's products and services, which we have grouped into 11 broad product categories (publications, census products, collection materials, conferences and workshops, custom or special tabulations, data products, maps and geospatial products, microdata products, pages from Statistics Canada's website, and private communications). You can also use this guide to develop references for sources that are not from Statistics Canada.

The guide shows you how to identify the essential elements of information that your reference must contain to be complete (author, year of publication, title, catalogue number, URL, etc.). With the help of generic models and examples, you can combine these essential elements into an effective reference that leads your readers directly to the specific source you used.

In developing this guide, we have consulted and adapted standards that are used widely in academic and statistical environments.

While the examples and the order of elements in the models in this manual illustrate the style recommended at Statistics Canada, you can use your institutional style guide for the appropriate stylistic presentation. Keep in mind that consistency in capitalization, punctuation and ordering of the elements is vital.

This guide was developed to help authors, editors, publishers, researchers, academics, students, librarians and data librarians cite Statistics Canada products. It is also essential for acknowledging copyright.

Date modified: