Print page in pdf format
These rules were adopted by
the Canadian Historical
Association on June 10, 1994. They have also been adopted by
Historical Review and Histoire
sociale - Social History.
The purpose of these rules is to define
a method of citation for machine- readable data that provides rules similar
to those that apply to traditional sources, in order to adapt the historians'
scholarly apparatus to the new kinds of sources used in the process of
As well, these rules allow for scholarly
recognition of the scientific work involved in the creation and distribution
of data bases of historical material, as the practice already exists in
Finally, the adoption of these rules will
enable researchers to meet the requirements of funding agencies (among
which the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) that
data made machine-readable through their funding be made available to the
2.) Three Types of
- Authors use data bases created and distributed
by other scholars, by research organizations or by commercial enterprises. References to such data should be made
according to the rules defined below.
- Authors make use of data that they have made
machine-readable and these data are accessible to other scholars, under
conditions set by the authors; access is available through the authors
themselves or through a third party (traditional archives, data libraries,
research groups or other organizations).
Making the data accessible should be considered
a form of publication; data thus "published" are to be cited according
to the rule defined below.
Authors are strongly encouraged to turn
over to an organization (department, research centre, archives, or other)
the functions of producer and distributor for their machine-readable data,
under such stipulations as are agreeable to both parties.
- Authors make use of machine-readable data
in the same way as they do research notes on paper and are under no obligation
to make their machine-readable accessible to others.
In this situation authors should make
reference to the original sources from which machine-readable notes are
made. Any substantial transformation of the raw data are explained, either
in the body of the published material or in a note, according to the place
taken by such data in the argument presented. For instance, one should
explain the method by which occupational titles have been classified into
3.) Citation Rules (2)
As much as possible, the information given
in references should be taken from the machine-readable document itself
or from accompanying documentation.
Author: cite in the usual manner.
Title: title of the data file or of the data
Machine-readable documents: to indicate that
the document is machine-readable, write the words "[computer file]" in
square brackets without using any acronyms.
Statement of responsibility, where applicable: "This indicates the responsibility of
the person(s) or corporate body named as principal investigator or of
other significant parties, such as the department, funding agency, or sponsoring
Edition, series, or version, if indicated.
Place of production, name of producer, followed
by "[producer]", date of production.
Place of distribution, name of distributor,
followed by "[distributor]", date of distribution.
Collection, where indicated.
The following additional information may
a. A brief description of contents, within
square brackets, if the title does not give sufficient information on this
b. Material designation in square brackets;
c. If the database is periodically updated,
give the date when the database was used.
Outline conditions governing access, where
José E. Igartua
Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur
les populations SOREP, Base de données SAGUENAY [computer file],
SOREP, Chicoutimi: Université du Québec à Chicoutimi,
1992, [on-line database] accessible for research purposes, subject to approval
by the SOREP ethics committee.
CANSIM University Base [computer file], Ottawa:
Statistics Canada, 1992 [magnetic tape].
Science Citation Index [computer file], Philadelphia:
Institute for Scientific Information, 1989 [CD-ROM].
IGARTUA, José E., Base de données
MEMBERS2 [liste of members of the Canadian Committee for History and Computing]
[computer file] Montréal: Département d'histoire, Université
du Québec à Montréal, 1992, [on-line database] accessible
through the author upon request.
Canadian Committee on History and Computing
Canadian Historical Association
September 28, 1994
for instance the "Notice to Contributors" in the American Sociological
Review, 57, 1 (February 1992): iii-iv.
The citation rules outlined here follow those defined by Terry Cook et
al., Archival Citations: Suggestions for the Citation of Documents
at the Public Archives of Canada (Ottawa: Public Archives of Canada,
1983), 13-14. See also Danielle Thibault, Bibliographic Citation Guide
(Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1989), 102-103. One may also consult
the rules defined by the American Sociological Review, as well as
the catalogueing methods used in the Canadian Union List of Machine
Readable Data Files (CULDAT), produced by Edward H. Hanis and described
in Edward H. Hanis, "Reference and User Guide for the CULDAT Information
System" (London, Ont.: January 1990). The CULDAT project was sponsored
by the Government Archives Division of the National Archives of Canada.
A data base is a set of data files linked together by a logical structure.
Cook et al., Archival Citations, 13.