Data citation is a fundamental part of the research data lifecycle. It enables reuse and verification of the data, gives proper credit to the creater of the dataset, and supports the scholarly record for research. Just as you cite all of your resources in a scholarly article or book, you should also cite the data that you used to conduct your research.
Citing data is pretty easy. There are elements that should be included in all citations:
DataCite is a global organization that encourages and supports the use of data citations. They provide guidelines and tools. They recommend a general format for a data citation. Disciplines and publishers may have their own standards.
Recommended format for the 5 basic elements: Creator (Publication Year): Title. Publisher. Identifier.
Recommended format for the 2 additional elements: Creator (Publication Year): Title. Version. Publisher. Resource Type. Identifier.
Examples courtesy of DataCite: https://www.datacite.org/services/cite-your-data.html and ICPSR: https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/datamanagement/citations.html