Fordham, New York City's Jesuit University
back Back to course home page

Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Dept. of Computer and Info. Sciences

CSLV 4650 -- Cyberspace: Ethics & Issues

Fall, 2004
Prof. Robert K. Moniot

Citation Style For Web Sources

When you cite sources located on the World-Wide-Web, it is not sufficient simply to give the URL.

Please follow a citation style that includes:

If the author is unknown, say "anonymous" or the name of the organization if it is an official publication. The title is what appears at the title in the text, not the URL. If there is no information about the date at all, say "undated".

The URL should be the best one you can find, i.e. try to avoid secondary references where someone has posted a copy of someone else's document. Also, avoid citing in the form of a search engine query: instead give the URL that resulted from the search. Remember that the purpose of a citation is to allow the reader to find the cited information. If you only give a top-level URL, like, the reader is likely to be faced with a page full of possible links and no idea which one contains the information that you actually used. So you should give the complete URL, down to the exact .html document. Nowadays, some web sites are set up so that you never see the name of the file you are reading within a frame. In this case, your citation should specify which links to click on when you arrive at the entry page of the site.

Note that if you use the Fordham University Library's online journal database (for instance Lexis-Nexis) to access an article that is published in a printed journal, you should not cite such a source with a URL. Instead, give the traditional print citation. Such sources are not considered Web sources, since the primary means of accessing them is still via the printed journal, and the Web access is simply a convenience.

More detailed guidelines for citation of electronic documents is provided by the Fordham Library on-line.

Robert Moniot 2004-09-01