When you are citing numerical data retrieved from online databases and web sites, we recommend including the following elements:

  • Author of the original study or data set – this can be the name(s) of an individual author(s) or of an agency
  • Year of publication or production, in parentheses – if unavailable, leave out
  • Title of the original study or data set
  • [Data file] to indicate use of an electronic data set
  • URL of publicly available web site, or name of database
  • Date of access, preceded by “Retrieved”


Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics (1993). “National Health Provider Inventory: Home Health Agencies and Hospices, 1991” [Data file]. Available from National Technical Information Service Web site, https://www.ntis.gov/. Retrieved March 21, 2017.

  • Use “Available from [name of Web site] Web site” when your data set requires additional steps to download, ie. when a stable url to the final data set cannot be provided.

U.S. Census Bureau. “Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage–All Persons by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: 2013 to 2015.” Health Insurance Historical Table 1 [Data file] . https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/health-insurance/historical-series/hic.html. Retrieved March 21, 2017.