Sound, reproducible scholarship rests upon a foundation of robust, accessible data. For this to be so in practice as well as theory, data must be accorded due importance in the practice of scholarship and in the enduring scholarly record. In other words, data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice.
In support of this assertion, and to encourage good practice, we offer a set of guiding principles for data citation. These principles are the synthesis of work by a number of groups.