How to cite ABS sources

A guide on how to cite a range of ABS sources with examples provided

Universities, educational institutions and other users of ABS statistics may have their own guidelines for citing resources. This is a suggested guide, indicating key elements to include when referencing ABS sources.

This guide has been updated to align with the Australian Government Style Manual

General formatting guidelines

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (reference period/year of publication) Title of issue [link with URL], accessed DD Month YYYY
  • Italics are used for the formal title of completed published work
  • Titles for part of a publication do not use italics and should be contained within single quotation marks
  • The title has the URL embedded as a hyperlink
  • If your references will be included in printable material, we recommend displaying the full URL
  • Webpage URLs that contain the reference period should be used instead of the latest-release URL
  • The access date must be included, as ABS content is designed to change over time and is continuously updated
  • Publisher name can be omitted from the reference as ABS is both the author and publisher
  • References should be listed alphabetically

ABS website

General web pages

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Reference period: Month YYYY) Title of webpage [URL], ABS Website, accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (June 2020) Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and ProductABS Website, accessed 11 December 2020.

Time series spreadsheets

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Reference period: Month YYYY) 'Title of spreadsheet' [time series spreadsheet],Title of Issue [URL], accessed DD month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (June 2020) 'Table 1. Key national accounts aggregates' [time series spreadsheet], Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Productaccessed 11 December 2020. 

Data cubes

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Reference period: Month YYYY) 'Title of data cube' [data set], Title of issue [URL], accessed DD month YYYY. 

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (May 2020) 'Table 15: Average weekly cash earnings, Australia by sector (dollars) - original' [data set], Average Weekly Earnings, Australiaaccessed 11 December 2020.

Census material

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of Publication) 'Title of Census material', Title of Census Publication [URL], accessed DD month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) 'People in Australia who were born in Italy', 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birthaccessed 11 December 2020.

DotStat

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) 'Title of dotStat table' Data by Theme [URL], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) 'Consumer Price Index (CPI) 17th series: All groups CPI, by Capital City', Economy, Price Indexes and Inflationaccessed 11 December 2020.

Maps, tables and figures

If a map, table, graph or image type is identified in their title then the description of material does not need to be included. 

Maps

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) 'Title of map [URL]' [type of map], Title of Publication, accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018) 'Populations of interest: persons with disability' [interactive map], Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of findings, accessed 11 December 2020. 

Tables

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) 'Title of table' [description of material if not included in title], Title of publication [URL], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) 'Table 1 - Percentage change by states and territories', Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australiaaccessed 11 December 2020. 

Graphs

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) 'Title of graph' [description of material if not already included in title] Title of publication, accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) 'Graph 1. Payroll jobs and total wages, indexed to week ending 14 March 2020', Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australiaaccessed 11 December 2020. 

Images

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) 'Title of image'[description of material if not included in the title], Title of publication [URL], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) 'Businesses that had not sought additional funds, by reasons for not seeking funds' [infographic image], Business Indicators, Business Impacts of COVID-19, accessed 11 December 2020. 

Social media

Facebook

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@username] (DD Month YYYY of post) Title or description of post [URL] [type of post], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@ABSStats] (13 December 2020) STP reported jobs recovery in Hospitality: Victoria vs Rest of Australia [Facebook post], accessed 15 December 2020.

Instagram

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@username] (DD Month YYYY of post) Title or description of post [URL] [type of post], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@ABSStats] (20 February 2020) Average weekly earnings around Australia [Instagram post], accessed 15 December 2020. 

Twitter

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@username] (DD Month YYYY of post) Title or description of post [URL] [type of post], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics [@ABSStats] (19 February 2020) Wages rose 0.5% in the December quarter 2019 [Tweet], accessed 15 December 2020.

YouTube

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (DD Month YYYY of post) Title of video [URL], name of channel, name of platform, accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (23 October 2019) The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2018ABSstatistics, YouTube, accessed 15 December 2020.

Census related posts

For census related posts do not include the day, month dates of posts as there are different publishing dates of census material and social media posts.

Data services

Microdata

There are 2 different microdata types: basic microdata in Microdata Download and detailed microdata in the DataLab

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) Title of microdata [URL] [microdata type], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020) Microdata: Personal Income of Migrants, Australia [DataLab], accessed 15 December 2020. 

TableBuilder

Format: Australian Bureau of Statistics (Year of publication) Title of TableBuilder product [URL] [type of TableBuilder], accessed DD Month YYYY.

Example: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) Unpaid Child Care (CHCAREP) by State/Territory (STE) and Sex Male/Female (SEXP) [Census TableBuilder], accessed 15 December 2020. 

In-text citation

First citation

Format: (Source [followed by] year of publication)

Example: (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020)

Subsequent citations

Format: (Abbreviated Source [followed by] year of publication)

Example: (ABS 2020)