Datacite relationType

Hi folks, I’ve got two questions related to DataCite relationType metadata for datasets.

  1. A dataset is published and there is a previously published journal article that describes the methods used for analyzing the data. Which relationType should I use to relate the dataset record to the methods paper?

  2. Datasets are being retroactively published for previous papers which are based directly on these datasets. Since Cited, Referenced, and Supplement do not seem to apply, what relationType should I use?


For the first use case, I would suggest using Cites or References (e.g. the dataset Cites/References/ the methodology paper). In this case, the dataset references the methodology paper, but the methodology doesn’t reference/cite the dataset. A paper describing a methodology may not refer to the dataset in any way, and could have been published years prior.

For the second use case, the relationType would go in the opposite direction. Because the paper is based directly on the dataset, it does “reference” it even though it lacks a formal citation. For this case, I would recommend using IsReferencedBy.

I should note that for citation and reference counts, IsCitedBy, IsReferencedBy, and IsSupplementTo are considered equivalent and count as citations (as in, object A gets a citation from object B). In the other direction, Cites, References, and IsSupplementedBy are considered equivalent and count as references (as in, object A references object B). The three types help to accommodate semantic differences like your second use case, where there isn’t a formal citation but the relationship is citation-like. You can find more information on the different relationTypes here: RelationType for Citations and References