Online Guide to Writing and Research

Chapter 5: Academic Integrity and Documentation

Types of Documentation

Citing World Wide Web Sources

Some students believe that Web sources have no copyright and that information found on the Web may be used without acknowledging the source. All material found on the Web, text and graphics alike, is protected by copyright, regardless of whether the individual source or page has a copyright notice.

When you include information from the Web in your paper, therefore, provide a complete citation. You want to be able to direct your reader to find the source you cited. According to the UMUC Office of Library Services (1998), your Web citation should contain the following information:

  • Author—Creator or compiler of the information; may include the Webmaster or the organization.
  • Year, month, date—Date the Web page was put online; should be the same as the "last updated" date if available.
  • Title—Title of the document, usually found at the top of the Web page.
  • Type of medium—Way the document was accessed. If found on the Web or through another Internet service, this should be "Online."
  • Site/path/file—Address or URL (uniform resource locator) of the Web site.
  • Access date—Date you viewed the Web page or accessed the information.

The APA Publication Manual provides formats for Web resources. The APA Web site also details specific information for citing electronic references.

The MLA Style Handbook, Manual and Web site also contain enhanced guidelines on citing electronic sources.

For more information, please consult UMUC Library Services.