Data file - Otherwise known as a data item, this is a singular record of data such as an excel sheet or log book.
Dataset - Most commonly data is published as a dataset. That is, a collection of related sets of data. Keep in mind that some datasets are dynamic and change over the course of time. Always try to cite the specific version of the dataset that you used.
DOI - stands for Digital Object Identifier and is the alpha numeric value (or digital identifier) specifically assigned to a data file, dataset or associated output (grey literature, workflow etc). DOIs are persistent identifiers (meaning they will always point to the location of the data/dataset) so should always be used in your citation if available.
A dataset (or data file) is the published findings/observations from a research project. It may be raw or analysed and can come in many forms:
Data can be published on a repository, website or as supplementary material along with a publication (such as a journal article). Not all research data is electronic, data can also be physical. However, in order for you to cite a data file or dataset, it must at least be discoverable through either a DOI or a URL.
Many repositories show how you should cite the data. This can be useful to refer to but you should always follow Harvard example given in this guide.
The basics of a Reference List entry for a dataset or data file:
Include author/s name for dataset references where possible (an author may be a corporate body or organisation responsible for creating, producing or publishing a webpage or website).
Raw data from a dataset should not be quoted directly but should instead be summarised.
|Material Type||In-text example||Reference List example|
(Sanciolo et al. 2015)
Sanciolo, P, Monis, P, Blackbeard, J, Salveson, A, Ryan, G, & Gray, SR 2015, Pasteurisation for production of Class A recycled water: laboratory scale testing and pilot plan trial data, electronic dataset, Victoria University Research Repository, doi: 10.4226/80/579ae0c32baeb.
|Dataset (URL)||(Fluker 2015)||Fluker, M 2015, Fluker posts: community based environmental monitoring, electronic dataset, Fluker Post Research Project, viewed 7 February 2017, <http://www.flukerpost.com>.|