There are varying rules for citing information found on the web. Often websites don’t list authors or dates, and the reference must be adapted accordingly.
Some basic rules of thumb to follow for each of these elements on a website:
Author - websites frequently do not cite an individual person as an author; when it seems appropriate, use the organization as the author instead. If there is an individual author, then the name of the organization goes after the title of the web page and is not italicized.
Publication Date - when available, use the most specific date you can find, including year, month, and day if possible. Do not use the website’s copyright date as the publication date. If you cannot find an alternative to the site’s copyright date, use (n.d.) in place of a date.
Title - use the title of the specific page from which you gathered the information; if it is not obvious on the page itself, you can sometimes find it in the title bar at the very top of your browser. Italicize the document title.
Site Name - If the page has named authors, insert the site name (usually the name of the organization responsible for publishing the page) after the title of the page. It should be in plain text with all major words capitalized. If the page does not have named authors, and you used the organization name as the author, leave this out.
If you are generally referring to an entire website, meaning that you did not extract specific information from it, you can skip the formal citation and simply mention the website in the text of your paper.
URL - Include the full URL (pointing to the specific site you consulted)
*Please note, these rules do not apply to journals found on the web. If you find a journal article online, follow the rules for electronic journal articles.
Use of [Format]
Use [Format] if someone may have trouble finding the source without knowing what they are looking for. Bracketed format examples include:
Blog posts are treated more like online magazine articles rather than websites. When citing a blog post, the title of the article is in plain text with the first letter of the first word capitalized (and the first letter of the first word after a colon), and the blog name is in italics and title case. This formatting is different from citing websites, in which the title is italicized and the website name is not.
The format for citing news articles is for online versions of newspapers and magazines, rather than articles posted only on a news website (e.g., CNN).
Artist, A. A. (Year). Title of image/artwork [Description of format]. Source name. URL
Carpenter, R. (ca. 1857-1860). Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston [Digital image]. Digital Commonwealth. http://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/cn69mw38z
If you need to cite a PowerPoint presentation from your class but it isn’t anywhere online, treat the presentation like a personal communication with the professor as the author. If, however, the slides are posted online, follow the format for websites.
Gay, D. (2006, January 10). Evidence based practice [PowerPoint slides]. SlideServe. https://www.slideserve.com/denis/evidence-based-practice
Please note that use of lecture slides is often discouraged in assignments because they are not a primary source.
When citing an e-book, do not specify the format, platform, or device (i.e. do not write "Kindle" or "ebook"). Include the publisher name and DOI or URL (if available).