Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home
Help: How to cite ABS sources
 

Introduction

Printed Sources

Audiovisual sources The ABS website Tailored/Unpublished Data Reference list


INTRODUCTION

Information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics must be acknowledged responsibly whenever it is used. Citing, or referencing, is important for several reasons, including acknowledging that one has used the ideas, words or data of others. Accurately citing sources used also allows others to find and use the original information.

The aim of this document is to provide guidance on how to cite ABS material. The style suggested in this guide is based on the author-date system as outlined in the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (2002). This system uses in-text references and a reference list or bibliography at the end of the work giving additional details to help the reader locate sources. Universities, educational institutions, corporations and other users of ABS statistics may have their own guidelines for citing resources. This document does not intend to supersede those requirements, rather to act as a suggested guide, indicating elements that should be included when citing ABS sources.

Whilst details regarding the citation of different formats of ABS material may differ, there are certain elements that are common to all of them. This includes using 'Australian Bureau of Statistics' as the author/source, the title and date of the item and the compulsory use of the ABS catalogue number where one exists. The abbreviation 'ABS' may be used in in-text references if the full name and abbreviation ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)’ has been used in the first in-text reference.

When citing several works by the ABS that have been published in the same year in in-text references, distinguish them from each other by attaching a lower-case alphabet to the publication date. For example, for the first item published by the ABS in 2001, the in-text reference would be (ABS, 2001a), the second (ABS 2001b), and so on. The references would be arranged by title in the reference list or bibliography.
Back to top

PRINTED SOURCES

Publications

Note: electronic publications are covered in the ABS website section of this guide.

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source, usually: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Some publications such as feature articles, analytical, occasional, working or conference papers may have individual authors.
  • Year of publication/issue. If there are other date details (e.g. month), place this after the Place of publication.
  • Full title (in italics). Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Title of series, number in series (if applicable)
  • ABS catalogue number (if available, prefixed with: cat. no.)
  • Publisher: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Can be abbreviated to 'ABS' if it is the Author/Source or if a reference has been made to the full name.
  • Place of publication (usually Canberra, but can be other Australian capital cities)
  • Other date details (if applicable)
  • Include the page numbers being referenced unless the publication is being used generally rather than specifically. If a page is being directly referenced in the text, include the page number/s in the in-text reference.
Examples:
  • In-text:
    (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2002a)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002,
    Australian Capital Territory in focus 2002, cat. no. 1307.8, ABS, Canberra.
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2002b)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002,
    2002 Year Book Australia, cat. no. 1301.0, ABS, Canberra, pp. 267-330.
  • In-text:
    (Northwood, Rawnsley & Chen 2001)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Northwood, K, Rawnsley, T & Chen, L 2002,
    Experimental estimates of the distribution of household wealth, Australia, 1994-2000, Working papers in econometrics and applied statistics, no. 2002/1, cat. no. 1351.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
Back to top
ABS joint authorship publications

Elements to include:
  • As above, including the name of the other author/s and other catalogue numbers assigned to the publication. Publisher and Place of publication may differ.
Example:
  • In-text:
    (ABS & AIHW 2001) Note: use full names in the first in-text citation.
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics & Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2001,
    The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 2001, cat. no. 4704.0, AIHW Cat. No. IHW-6, ABS, Canberra.
Individual chapters in publications

Elements to include:
  • Author of chapter (if applicable), otherwise ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics’
  • Date of publication
  • ‘Title of chapter’ (in single quotation marks) or Chapter number
  • The word ‘in’ followed by Editor of the publication, usually: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Title of publication (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • Publisher: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Can be abbreviated to 'ABS' if it is the Author/Source or if a reference has been made to the full name.
  • Place of publication (usually Canberra, but can be other Australian capital cities)

Example:
  • In-text:
    (Bennett 2004)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Bennett, S 2004, ‘The 1967 Aborigines referendum’, in Australian Bureau of Statistics,
    2004 Year Book Australia, cat. no. 1301.0, ABS, Canberra.
Back to top
Tables in publications

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source of data: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Year of publication/issue. If there are other date details (e.g. month), place this after the Place of publication.
  • ‘Main heading: secondary heading of table’ (enclosed in single quotation marks)
  • Format of item: table (if it does not appear in the heading)
  • Title of publication (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • Publisher: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Can be abbreviated to 'ABS' if it is the Author/Source or if a reference has been made to the full name.
  • Place of publication (usually Canberra, but can be other Australian capital cities)
  • Other date details (if applicable)
  • Page/s (if applicable)
Examples:
  • Citing information contained in an ABS table:
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2004, p. 8)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, ‘Short-term movement (a), visitor arrivals - country of residence (b)’, table,
      Overseas arrivals and departures, Australia, cat. no. 3401.0, ABS, Canberra, May, p. 8.
  • Reproducing a table from an ABS publication:
    • In-text (under table):
      Source: (ABS 2002, p. 18)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002,
      Australian system of national accounts, 2001-02, cat. no. 5204.0, ABS, Canberra, p. 18.
Back to top
Maps

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Year of production
  • ‘Title of specific map’ in larger compilation (if applicable, in single quotation marks)
  • Title (in italics) of whole publication. Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Format of item: map
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • Publishing details if applicable. A large portion of the maps produced by the ABS are unpublished, so there is no need to add publishing details. One exception to this is census maps.
Examples:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2001)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001,
    Australian Statistical Divisions 2000, map
  • In-text:
    (ABS 1996)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996, ‘NSW 0500A’,
    1996 Census, Statistical Local Area maps, map, cat. no. 2920.0, ABS, Canberra.
Back to top
Brochures

Elements to include:
  • As for publications, including the format after the title: brochure.
Example:
  • In text:
    (ABS 2002)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002,
    Discover the ABS, brochure, ABS, Canberra.
Back to top
Journal/Newsletter articles

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source, usually Australian Bureau of Statistics. Acknowledge a Branch or Section responsible for the publication after the Title.
  • Year of publication/issue. If there are other date details (e.g. month), place this after the Publisher.
  • ‘Title of article’ (enclosed in single quotation marks)
  • Title of periodical (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Name of Branch/Section (if applicable)
  • Issue details (volume, number/issue)
  • Publisher: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Can be abbreviated to 'ABS' if it is the Author/Source or if a reference has been made to the full name.
  • Other date details (if applicable)
  • Page/s
Example:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2004)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, ‘National regional profile on the web’,
    LEP Newsletter, Library Extension Program, issue 48, ABS, May, p. 7.
Back to top

AUDIOVISUAL SOURCES

Videos

Elements to include:
  • Title of video (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Date of recording
  • Format of item: videorecording
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • Publisher/producer (usually Australian Bureau of Statistics, or a section of the ABS)
  • Place of recording (usually Canberra, but can be other Australian capital cities)
Note: Any special credits should be included at the end of the citation.

Examples:
  • In-text:
    (
    Information for the nation 1992)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Information for the nation: provision of statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1992, videorecording, cat. no. 1120.0, National Film and Video Productions for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jamison, ACT.
  • In-text:
    (
    2001 Census 2000)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    2001 Census: an overview 2000, videorecording, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. Presented by Melanie James.
Back to top
Microfiche

Elements to include:
  • As for publications, including the format after the title: microfiche (if not apparent) and the number of the microfiche/s being cited (if applicable) after the cat. no.
Examples:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 1974)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 1974,
    Census of Population and Housing 1971, microfiche, ABS, Canberra.
  • In-text:
    (Weedon 1896)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Weedon, T 1896,
    Queensland past and present: an epitome of its resources and development, Part 2: History, in Colonial microfiche, cat. no. 1115.0, microfiche 1/3, ABS, Canberra, 1989.
Back to top
CD-ROMs

Elements to include:
  • As for publications or individual chapters in publications, including the format after the title: CD-ROM.
Example:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2000)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2000,
    A tale of two worlds, CD-ROM, ABS, Canberra.
Back to top
CLIB & CDATA

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source of data: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Date of product
  • 'Geography selected (Census Geographical area used), Profile used: Table/Map/Graph number and title’ (all enclosed in single quotation marks).
  • Format of item: If the format of data used is not clear from the title, add it in the form: table, map, graph.
  • The words ‘retrieved from’, followed by the title of the product (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Format: CD-ROM
  • Version used (e.g. Release 3)
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • Publisher: ABS
  • Place of publication: Canberra
**Where numerous tables, maps or graphs have been used, list these at the end of the citation.

Examples:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2004)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, ‘Canberra-Queanbeyan (ACT, NSW) (Statistical District), Time Series Profile: T10 Type of educational institution attending (full time/part time) by sex’, table, retrieved from
    CLIB 2001: the Census @ your library, CD-ROM, Release 3, cat. no. 2024.0.30.001, ABS, Canberra.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, ‘Mackay, Qld. (Statistical District), Basic Community Profile: tables listed below’, retrieved from
    CLIB 2001: the Census @ your library, CD-ROM, Release 3, cat. no. 2024.0.30.00, ABS, Canberra.
    Tables:
      B03 Age by sex
      B27 Occupation by age by sex
      T06 Age of Indigenous persons by sex
      U21 Age by Internet use by sex
      W05 Weekly individual income by age by sex
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, ‘Adelaide Hills (DC) (Local Government Area), Basic Community Profile: B08 Language spoken at home by sex: French (total persons)’, retrieved from
      CDATA 2001, CD-ROM, 2nd release, ABS, Canberra.
Back to top

THE ABS WEBSITE

In citing information from the ABS website direct readers as closely as possible to the information being cited so that they can find and use the original source.

Elements to include:
  • Author/Source, usually: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Some documents such as feature articles, analytical, occasional, working or conference papers may have individual authors.
  • Year of creation/publication, or of the most recent revision/update.
  • Title (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Format/description of the information (if applicable) in the form: time series spreadsheet, data cube, etc. Do not use for pdf publications.
  • ABS catalogue number (if available)
  • 'viewed' followed by date of viewing the information in the form: viewed dd month yyyy
  • Electronic address (URL) in angle brackets. The ABS uses long URLs on its website. It is critical that the whole URL be cited, or readers will not be able to find the cited material. The easiest way to transcribe the URL accurately is to copy it from the address window in your browser and paste it into your citation. If you need to break URLs across lines, break the URL after a slash or before a punctuation mark. Never add a hyphen.
Examples:
    General web pages
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2004)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004,
      Themes: Ageing, viewed 21 July 2004, <insert the URL here>
    Publications
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2004)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004,
      Australian Social Trends, cat. no. 4102.0, viewed 20 July 2004, <insert the URL here>
    Time series spreadsheets
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2004), or Source: (ABS 2004), if spreadsheet has been reproduced.
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004,
      Labour force, Australia, 'Table 01. Labour force status by sex - trend', time series spreadsheet, cat. no. 6202.0.55.001, viewed 26 July 2004, <insert the URL here>
    Data cubes
    Available in Excel and SuperTABLE formats. Cite the format used in the form: data cube: Excel spreadsheet
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2004)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004,
      Characteristics of wages and salary earners in regions of Australia, 2000-01, 'Table 3: occupation (major groups), by sex and remoteness area', data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 6261.0.55.00, viewed 26 July 2004, <insert the URL here>

      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004,
      Population estimates by age and sex, Queensland, 2003, data cube: SuperTABLE, cat. no. 3235.0.55.001, viewed 26 July 2004, <insert the URL here>
    Census material on the website

    Elements to include:
    • Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
    • Census year
    • 'Geography selected (Census Geographical area used), Profile used (if applicable): Table/Map/Graph number and title (if applicable)’ (all enclosed in single quotation marks). Note: If the format of data (ie. table, map or graph) is not clear from the title, add it after the title.
    • Date of viewing the information in the form: viewed dd month yyyy
    • <URL> in angle brackets
    Examples:
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2001)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001, ‘Randwick (C) (Statistical Local Area), Indigenous Profile’, viewed 26 July 2004, <insert the URL here>
Back to top
TAILORED / UNPUBLISHED DATA

CURFs

Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) contain responses to ABS surveys in the form of unit records. They are excellent research tools, allowing secondary analysis using the most detailed data product available from the ABS. The ABS ensures the confidentiality of all data made available on Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). This includes removing all identifying information, including names and addresses. Data items that are most likely to be used for identifying individuals are only released in broad categories. The files are also checked for any records with very unusual responses and these records may be altered slightly to ensure individuals cannot be identified.

Elements to include:
  • Source of data: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Date/reference period of survey
  • Name of survey used in CURF (in italics) Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Basic, Expanded or Specialist data/version of CURF
  • Method of access to CURF (ie. CD-ROM, ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL)
  • Statement: Findings based on use of ABS CURF data.

Example:
  • In-text:
    (ABS 2002)
  • In reference list/bibliography:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002,
    Child Care Survey (2002), Expanded CURF, RADL. Findings based on use of ABS CURF data.
Tailored data

The ABS offers Information and Statistical Consultancy services, where a wide range of data can be tailored to meet clients’ needs. Outputs could include tailored reports, customised data, etc.

Examples:
  • Report:
    • In-text:
      (ABS 2010)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      ABS 2010,
      Demographic profile, City of Onkaparinga and Adelaide metropolitan area. Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Customised data:
    • In-text only: ABS, Customised report, 2010
Dynamically generated tables/files etc. using ABS information

Elements to include:
  • Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Date/reference period of survey or data
  • Statement: generated [day month year when file/table was generated] using [Title of the survey, data cube, etc (in italics)] Note: Titles in examples that follow are in bold to comply with web publishing requirements. Please use italics for non-web publications.
  • Include elements for citing the format of product used to generate the table/file, as described earlier in this Guide
  • Address/availability of source data.
Examples:
  • Using CURFs:
    • In-text:
      (ABS 1993) or
      Under figures (tables, graphs, maps, etc.): Source: generated from (ABS 1993)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 1993, file generated 26 July 2004 using
      Household expenditure survey 1993 CURF, Expanded CURF, RADL. Findings based on use of ABS CURF data.
  • Using data cubes:
    • In-text
      (ABS 2000) or
      Under figures - tables, graphs, maps, etc.: Source: generated from (ABS 2000)
    • In reference list/bibliography:
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2000, table generated 26 July 2004 using
      Population by age and sex, Australian Capital Territory: Population estimates by age and sex, Australian Capital Territory, 2000, cat. no. 3235.8.55.001, data cube: SuperTABLE <insert the URL here>
  • Using data supplied by the ABS:
    • In-text (under figures - tables, graphs, maps, etc.)
      Source: generated 18 March 2006 using data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
    • There is no need for a reference list/bibliography entry.
Back to top
E-mail

Email messages are regarded as personal communication as they are not recoverable data. It is therefore sufficient to provide an in-text reference only.

Example:
  • John Smith (personal communication, 19 March 2004)
There are occasions when the reader could find more detail helpful, in which case a Reference List or Bibliography entry may be given. The ABS requires that email addresses are not disseminated to the general public. To this end we prefer that personal email addresses are not cited in documents. Email citation is only for information contained in the direct message. Data sets sent via email should not be cited as a personal email. See Tailored/Unpublished data on how to deal with these.
  • In reference list/bibliography (optional)
    Smith, John 19 March 2001, First draft of “Strategic directions for CSO and the public library sector” document [email to Jane. B. Smith]
Back to top
REFERENCE LIST

Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002, 6th ed., rev. by Snooks & Co, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Qld.
Back to top

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.