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Citing Electronic Materials

Many citation styles are used in academic papers. The three most common are APA (American Psychological Association) format, MLA (Modern Language Association) format, and Chicago format. Each style organizes the citation information differently, and no style is more correct than any other. Several examples of citations are provided, but you should not rely only on this site for citation guidelines. For definite decisions on style, consult the appropriate style guide and/or your instructor.

Because Internet materials do not always have page numbers or publishing information, the most important part of the citation is the URL (the universal resource locator, or Internet address), which will help another person find the same information you used in your research. Most citations of electronic materials will be similar to citations of print materials, but they will include information about when and how you accessed the materials.

APA Format :: MLA Format :: Chicago Style Format :: Online Resources

APA Format

General Information:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association :: REF BF76.7 P83 (Reference Desk--2nd floor and Reserves Desk--1st floor)

http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html :: Citing electronic resources from the APA

The APA suggests two main APA guidelines authors should observe when citing Internet resources:

  1. Direct readers as closely as possible to the information being cited; whenever possible, reference specific documents rather than home or menu pages.
  2. Provide addresses that work.

(adapted from information found at http://www.apastyle.org/elecmedia.html)

You must include the date of retrieval and the name and location of the source you used, because the information may later be moved, changed, or removed from the website. You may use either hanging indentations or normal paragraph indentations, but you must be consistent. Use italics to highlight the journal name and volume number, but not the issue number. If no date is available for a resource, use (n.d.).

Full-Text Article Found in a Periodical Index, such as EBSCOhost :

Author A.A., & Author, B.B. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Journal Title volume(issue),
    pp-pp. Retrieved month, day, year, from source.

Adair, John G., & Vohra, Neharika. (2003, January). The explosion of knowledge,
    references, and citations [Electronic version]. American Psychologist 58(1), 15-23.

Web Document With No Author:

Reference examples for electronic source materials. (2001). Retrieved November 30, 2004,
    from http://www.apastyle.org/elecsource.html.


MLA Format

General Information:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers :: REF PE1478 M57 (Reference Desk--2nd floor and Reserves Desk--1st floor)

http://www.mla.org/style_faq :: Frequently asked questions about MLA Style

Full Text Article Found in a Periodical Index, such as EBSCOhost:

Lastname, First. “Article Title.” Journal Name volume.issue (date): pp-pp. Title of database.
    Publisher. Name and geographic location of library that subscribes to database. Day
    Month Year material was accessed. <URL>.

Youakim, Sami. "Work-Related Asthma." American Family Physician 64 (2001): 1839-52.
    Health Reference Center . Gale. Bergen County Cooperative Lib. System, NJ. 12 Jan.
    2002. <http://www.galegroup.com/>.

Webpage With No Author:

Lastname, First. Title of page. Day Month Year of electronic publication or latest update.
    Day Month Year material was accessed. <URL>.

Modern Language Association. How do I document sources from the Web in my works
    cited list? 14 December 2003. 30 November 2004 .


Chicago Style Format

General Information:

The Chicago Manual of Style :: REF Z253 U69 (Located at the Reserves Desk--1st floor)

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/tools.html :: Examples of Chicago Style documentation

Full-Text Article Found in a Periodical Index, such as EBSCOhost:

Humanities version:

Adair, John G. and Neharika Vohra. “The Explosion of Knowledge, References, and
    Citations.” American Psychologist 58, no. 1 (January, 2003), 15-23.

Author-date citation, often used in the sciences:

Adair, John G. and Neharika Vohra. January 2003. The explosion of knowledge, references,
    and citations. American Psychologist 58, no.1: 15-23.

In the Chicago style, journal articles accessed from periodical indices often do not require retrieval dates, although instructors or publications might request that this information be included in the citation. If retrieval information is required, simply add the URL at the end of the citation.

Hlatky, Mark A., Derek Boothroyd, Eric Vittinghoff, Penny Sharp, and Mary A. Whooley.
    "Quality-of-Life and Depressive Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women after Receiving
    Hormone Therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study
    (HERS) Trial." Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (February 6, 2002),


Online Resources

Citing Online Census Information :: U.S. Census Bureau

Citation Machine :: Online forms for creating citations

Citation Styles :: Covers the major Styles and provides examples of specific document sources

Refworks:: Store citations in a personal database. Requires user to be be enrolled at UCM



Reviewed sw 18 Dec 2006 JE

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