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Citing Sources

Guides & Sample Papers

The OWL at Purdue provides resources that may useful for writing projects & citation help.

Click here for a full-length self-paced online tutorial from the APA's website.

Publication Manual

Copies of the Publication Manual are found in the reference and check out collections of the Philadelphia Campus Library and the Newtown LRC.

Choose a Research Guide

Webpages & Non-Periodical Documents on the Web: Guidelines

This information refers to non-periodical web documents only. If you are citing an online journalmagazine, or newspaper article retrieved from a website, see the examples found in the Databases & Online Articles guide.

For more information about referencing pages from a website, see the APA Blog at http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/website/

Remember that the purpose of a citation is to guide the reader to the source of the information that you reference; therefore, include as much information as possible so the reader can easily locate your source.

AUTHOR: List the author’s name surname first, then initials. In some cases, an agency or organization is the author. For example: The American Psychological Association.

DATE: Don’t use the copyright date for the entire website. Instead, look for the date the particular page or document was published or updated; if multiple dates are listed, use the most recent date. If there is no date, use (n.d.).

TITLE: Italicize the title of the source if it is a “stand-alone” document such as a report or brochure. You can also place the type of document in brackets for clarification – for example [Brochure]. If the source you are citing is part of a larger work don’t italicize the title.

GOVERNMENT REPORT NUMBERS: Some government agencies assign a document number to reports and other materials. Be sure to include that number in parenthesis after the title.

RETRIEVAL DATE: Per APA guidelines, it is not necessary to include a retrieval date unless the information is likely to be moved or changed, as in a Wiki. Check with your faculty about this.

SOURCE URL: For ease of retrieval, include the complete URL for the page you are referencing.

CITING MULTIPLE PAGES FROM ONE SITE? Make sure you include a reference entry for each page you cite so your reader can easily locate that information. If the pages have the same author and year, place a letter next to the year in both the in-text citation and the reference entry (for example 2018a).

Page on a Website

Because your reader should be able to locate the information you have cited as easily as possible, you should cite the exact page or document from within the website whenever possible. This may mean including several citations for various web pages within a larger website.

  • Begin with author's last name and initials (last name, initials). In some cases, an agency or organization is listed as the author.
  • Include a date of publication (or n.d. if there is no publication date available) followed by the title of the webpage or document.
  • Don't italicize the title of the webpage if it is part of a larger work such as the "about" page on a site. DO italicize the title if the document is a "stand-alone" source such as a brochure, fact sheet, or report.  
  • Include the complete URL for the page you are referencing.

CITING MULTIPLE PAGES FROM ONE SITE? Make sure you include a reference entry for each page you cite so your reader can easily locate that information. If the pages have the same author and year, place a letter next to the year in both the in-text citation and the reference entry (for example 2018a).

Sample citation of a page on a website (organization as author):

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). About APA. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about

"About APA" is NOT italicized because this is a page on a larger site.

Sample citation of a page that includes authors names:

White, M., Segal, J., & Smith, M. (2018). Living with dementia: Coping tips for you and your family.

     Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/living-with-dementia.htm?pdf=true

This article is a "stand-alone" document so the title is in italics.

 

No Author?

Improving men’s health by battling stereotypes. (2017). Retrieved from

     https://nursing.gwu.edu/improving-mens-health-battling-stereotypes

 

  • If there is no author available, use the title in the author’s position.
  • This title is NOT italicized as it is a page on a larger website – in this case the “news” portion of George Washington University’s School of Nursing website.

The in-text citation would include a shortened version of the title, "in double quotes," capitalizing all important words like this: (“Improving Men’s Health,” 2017)

Citation for entire website

If you are referring to an entire website in your paper, simply include the website's URL in the text of your paper in parentheses. The URL should not be included on the reference list.

The World Bank website provides data on the effectiveness of forms of international assistance other than direct aid (http://www.worldbank.org).

Document from a Website - Factsheets, Brochures, and More

American Psychological Association. (2017). What is psychotherapy? [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from

     http://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/psychotherapy.pdf

  • Since the fact sheet is a “stand-alone” document, the title is placed in italics.
  • APA calls this document a fact sheet, so that format information is noted in brackets after the page source.
  • Other document forms could include [Brochure], [White paper], [Policy brief], [Press release] and others. Include the document form to clarify the source for your reader.

Online Technical Report from a Government Agency

According to APA, you should format references to technical and research reports the same way book references are formatted (See Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, p. 205-206)

  • Include the full name of the agency or agencies.
  • List agency names in the order of hierarchy. (The National Institutes of Health is a sub-organization of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
  • Italicize the title.
  • If the agency has assigned a publication number, include it in parentheses after the title.
  • If the author is not the publisher, include the agency name as part of the retrieval statement: Retrieved from Agency name website: http://www.url
  • Include the complete URL for locating the item.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. (2015).

     Public health service policy on humane care and use of laboratory animals (NIH Publication No. 15-8013). Retrieved from

     https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf

Other Online Technical Reports

According to APA, you should format references to technical and research reports the same way book references are formatted (See Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, p. 205-206)

  • Include the full name of author or organization that issued the report.
  • Italicize the title.
  • If the issuing organization assigned the report a number, include it in parentheses after the title.
  • Include a DOI number if available.
  • If no DOI number is available, include the complete URL for locating the item. If the author is not the publisher, identify the publisher as part of the retrieval statement: Retrieved from agency name website: http://www.url

Technical report with no DOI number:

​Buntain, C., & Goldbeck, J. (2017). I want to believe: Journalists and crowdsourced accuracy assessments on Twitter 

     (Research Report No. HCIL-2017-03). Retrieved from University of Maryland, Human-Computer Interaction Lab website: 

     https://hcil.umd.edu/pub-perm-link/?id=2017-03

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