If you retrieve information from a dataset for your paper, you need to cite the source properly in your work. To review how to cite sources using Harvard referencing, check out our guide below! We’ll look at the Open University style of Harvard, but remember to check your own institution’s style guide in case it requires a different version.
Creating an In-Text Citation for a Dataset
In-text citations in Harvard follow the author–date format. This means that whenever you use information from another source, including datasets, you need to use parentheses to provide the name of the author and the date. You can do this in two ways:
Cats sleep for 12–16 hours per day (Wang, 2022).
According to Wang (2022), cats sleep for 12–16 hours per day.
If your source has two authors, include both names, separated by “and.” If the source has three or more authors, include the first name only, followed by “et al.”
If you include a direct quote, you need to provide the page number(s) in the citation after the year. However, with a dataset, which tends to be a list of figures, it’s unlikely that you’ll use direct quotes.
Creating a Reference List Entry for a Dataset
Once you get to the reference list, you need to create a line item for any dataset you’ve used. In Harvard, the entry must follow this format:
Author, X. (year). Title of Dataset. Place of Publication: Publisher.
Wang, Z. (2022). Daily Hours of Sleep by Animal Type. Atlanta: Data Pub.
If the dataset is online, follow this format:
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Author, X. (year). Title of Dataset [Online]. Available at: URL (Accessed date).
Wang, Z. (2022). Daily Hours of Sleep by Animal Type [Online]. Available at: www.fictionaldatapub.org (Accessed May 15, 2023).
If you need to use a dataset in your writing, we hope you’ll now feel confident citing it in Harvard referencing. As we said, we used the Open University style of Harvard referencing. Harvard has many versions, though, so make sure you check with your own institution’s requirements.
And once you finish writing your paper, be sure to send it our way! We’ll be happy to check your references and citations and make sure they’re top-notch. We’ll also ensure perfect spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more! Try it out for free today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you create an in-text citation in Harvard?
Harvard referencing uses the author–date format for citations, so you need to include the name of the author and the year in parentheses, like this: (Jones, 2021).
How do you reference a dataset in Harvard?
In Harvard referencing, follow this format for a dataset: Author, X. (year). Title of Dataset. Place of Publication: Publisher.
And if the dataset is online, present it this way: Author, X. (year). Title of Dataset [Online]. Available at: URL (Accessed date).