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How to properly cite these two sources?

In the AI/ML literature I am finding many non-homogenous citations of these two documents, with some of them wanting to specify a chapter and others the whole book.

  • Is there a canonical citation form for these two documents? (There can be more)
  • Is there a Bibtex entry?

Furthermore, the question has been closed as opinionated on Latex SE. This question can also be extended to more non-EU regulation frameworks.

I believe this is a recurrent question that will show up recurrently in the following times.

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  • 1
    Do you have to follow a specific citation style (e.g., for submission to a journal)?
    – anpami
    Nov 16, 2022 at 6:59
  • I always considered the BibTeX entry to be general, and then the latex compiler does the styling. I might be wrong Nov 16, 2022 at 7:04

1 Answer 1

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It depends on the citation style you need to use.

Official title

If you want to find out the 'official' name of an EU legal text, you should consult the EUR-Lex.

Accordingly, the official name of the GDPR is:

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (Text with EEA relevance)

It was published in

OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1–88
(OJ = Official Journal of the European Union, L = the Legislation series).

However, the GDPR has been amended since its first entry-into-force. If you want to cite the current version, you could cite the 'consolidated' text:

Consolidated text: Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (Text with EEA relevance)

.. which carries the Document number 02016R0679-20160504.

Scholarly citation: example of OSCOLA

For scholarly referencing, you usually need the information of "who, when, what, where": who is the author, when was it published, what is the title, and where can it be accessed.

The specific implementation of this principle of "who, when, what, where" depends on the citation style.

For instance, OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities) - an oft-used citation style for legal publications - requires you to name "the legislation type, number and title, followed by publication details in the OJ" when citing EU regulations like the GDPR.

If you use OSCOLA, the GDPR could be cited like this:

  • Text: Regulation 2016/679 (but you could add General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in parenthesis thereafter to indicate that this is how you label it in the subsequent references - - which is certainly not wrong given that the official name of the Regulation contains this shorter version in its title)
  • Footnote: Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) [2016] OJ L 119/1
  • Subsequent footnotes: Reg 2016/679 (or: GDPR, if you introduced it as such)

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