Data Sets and Software

Introduction

If you’re using a data set or a specialized kind of software or measurement tool, you should cite it in your reference list.

Of course you don’t have to cite common types of software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, nor do you have to account for the use of universal programming languages (e.g., Java).

Data Set

Here is the basic format:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of data set (Version number) [Data set]. Publisher or Source. DOI or URL.

Notes:

  • You can leave out the version number.
  • If the information is still being updated, you can provide a retrieval date and URL (e.g., Retrieved May 7, 2017, from URL).
  • You can change the description in square brackets (e.g., Data set, Unpublished raw data, etc.).
  • Italicize the names of data sets.

Here are some examples:

Brazilian Department of Soccer Statistics. (2007). Goal scoring efficiency of forwards in a state of post-carnival inebriation, 1999-2004 [Data set]. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://brasiliasoccerfoundation.org/mental-health/datasets/ 

Cramp, I. E. (2008). Catholic prayer benches and arthritis rates [Data set]. Pews Research Society. https://doi.org/10.4888/DLKFJ9932

Vanspronsen, T. (2001). [Unpublished raw data on impostor syndrome at the administrative level]. University of Zenith.

For links to important data sets and repositories, check out this APA page.

Software

Let’s start with the basic format:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work (Version number) [Computer software]. Publisher or app store. URL

Notes:

  • You can leave out the version number.
  • You can change the description in square brackets (e.g., Computer software, Mobile app, Equipment, etc.).
  • Italicize the title.

Here are two examples:

Alert, A. B. (2015). HyperAware Optimizer (Version 3.2) [Computer software]. Caffeine Logistics. https://www.caflogistics.com/

Innocuous Developers. Fun time-wasting game (Version 1.9) [Mobile app]. App Store. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/pernicious-data-collecting-applications/fun-game/19993

 


For more information, please consult pp. 337-41 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).