Subject Guides

How to Cite Electronic Resources

Introduction | General Formats | Internet Document | Article from Full-Text Database | Article from Electronic Journal | Entry from Discussion List | Electronic Mail Message | Internet Tips


Introduction

When you cite a resource in a paper, you have two purposes: to give credit for the material you are using, and to provide enough information for another person to find and use the same source. When it's an electronic resource you're citing, such as the Internet or a CD-ROM, you need to provide information similar to that required for citations to books or articles -- who wrote (or is responsible for) the material, its title, producer, and date; plus information on locating the resource.

Who is responsible for the information may be an individual author, an editor or compiler, or the organization responsible for the resource.

The title should be as specific as possible -- if you are citing an article, page, or document which is part of a larger whole, give both titles, just as you would for an article in a journal or chapter in a book.

Producer refers to the company or organization which created the document or product or which makes it available, such as the publisher of a CD-ROM or supplier of an electronic database. Many Internet resources do not have a producer.

Date means the date the resource was produced or published (if that is available) and/or the date on which you actually accessed the information.

Where it can be found includes both the item's location and its format. If you are referencing something found on the Internet, give its complete URL (address). Be sure to copy the URL exactly as shown on the Internet connection! If you have to divide the URL between two lines, divide it after a slash mark. Never break the address by inserting a hyphen. If the resource is from a CD-ROM or database, include the unique item number.

S tandards for electronic bibliographical citations and notes are still evolving. However, the examples shown below follow guidelines set forth and accepted by the major style formats.

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General Formats

APA Style:
Author. (Date). Title. Title of complete work. [Type of document]. Producer. Retrieved [date] from [source]: [URL or item number].

MLA Style:
Author. "Title." Title of Complete Work. Date. Producer. Date accessed. URL.

Turabian Style:
Author. "Title." Title of Complete Work. Producer, date. Format. Available from [URL or supplier]. Date accessed.

Note: Format can be Online, E-mail, CD-ROM, etc. Producer is necessary when citing CD-ROM or database products, any product which is also available in a print format, or Web documents. Access date should always be given.

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Examples

An Internet Document

APA Style:
Fieser, J. (1996, February 15). Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Martin, TN: Author. Retrieved June 4, 1999, from the World Wide Web: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/hobbes.htm.

MLA Style:
Fieser, James. "Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 15 Feb. 1996. U. Tennessee Martin. 4 June 1999 http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/hobbes.htm.

Turabian:
Fieser, James. "Thomas Hobbes (1599-1689)," in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. February 15, 1996. Online. Available from http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/hobbes.htm. Accessed June 4, 1999.

An Article from a Full-Text Database

APA Style:
Tulloch, M.I. (1995). Evaluating aggression: school students' responses to television portrayals of institutionalized violence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 24, 95+. Retrieved June 4, 1999, from Information Access database (Expanded Academic Index, Item #A16985824) on the World Wide Web: http://web2.infotrac.galegroup.com.

MLA Style:
Tulloch, Marian I. "Evaluating Aggression: School Students' Responses to Television Portrayals of Institutionalized Violence." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 24.1 (1995):95+. Online. Expanded Academic Index Article #A16985824. 4 June 1999.

Turabian:
Tulloch, Marion I. "Evaluating Aggression: School Students' Responses to Television Portrayls of Institutionalized Violence." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 24, no. 1 (February 1995):95+. Available from Expanded Academic Index, Article #A16985824. Accessed June 4, 1999.

An Article from an Electronic Journal

APA Style:
Saindon, C. (1999, April). Family feuds and the work of forgiveness. Self-help and Psychology Magazine. Retrieved June 4, 1999, from the World Wide Web: http://www.shpm.com/articles/relation/forgive.html.

MLA Style:
Saindon, Connie. "Family Feuds and the Work of Forgiveness." Self-Help and Psychology Magazine April 1999. 4 June 1999 <http://www.shpm.com/articles/relation/forgive.html>.

Turabian:
Saindon, Connie. "Family Feuds and the Work of Forgiveness." Self-Help and Psychology Magazine (April 1999): 7 pars. Online. Available from http://www.shpm.com/articles/relation/forgive.html Accessed June 4, 1999.

An Entry from a Discussion List

APA Style:
George, P. (1995, July 31). Internet as a research resource. Retrieved June 4, 1999 from WRITING-L on-line discussion list: gopher://gopher.w-net.tsu.edu/writing/archives/july95.

MLA Style:
George, Phillip. "Internet as a Research Resource." Online posting. 31 July 1995. WRITING-L. 4 June 1999 gopher://gopher.w-net.tsu.edu/writing/archives/july95.

Turabian:
George, Phillip. "Internet as a Research Resource." In WRITING-L, 31 July 1995. Online discussion group. Available from gopher://gopher.w-net.tsu.edu/writing/archives/july95.

An Electronic Mail Message

APA Style:
Powell, M. (personal communication, February 4, 1996).

MLA Style:
Powell, Morgan. "Madison and Federalist 9." E-mail to Susan D. Herring. 4 Feb. 1996.

Turabian:
Powell, Morgan. "Madison and Federalist 9." Private e-mail message to Susan D. Herring, 4 February 1996.

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Internet Tips

Connect to any of the following sites:

MLA Style Guidelines approved by the Modern Language Association. (http://www.mla.org/set_stl.htm)

Electronic Reference Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association . (http://www.apastyle.org/styleelecref.html)

The Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor. (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/cgos/idx_basic.html)


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