This section includes all types of sources found on the internet that are not covered in other sections. If you are looking for books or journals found online please see the Books and Periodicals sections.
Websites are much trickier than the other sources listed. When using a website, you must always judge the reliability of the source. Is it by a respectable group or organization or is it owned by a random person? Is the address one you can trust, like .edu or .gov, or an unknown free website like angelfire.com? Scholarly research isn’t simply about finding some information from whatever websites that are out there, but finding reliable and verifiable information from trustworthy websites. Some key things to look for when judging a website’s authority are
- does it have an author (or organization as author),
- how credible is the author,
- does it have a date of publication or update and is it recent,
- is the site sponsored by a legitimate organization or agency, and
- is the sponsor organization generally considered to have bias.
Ultimately, use common sense and ask yourself, “Why should I trust this information?”
You want to try and find as much information as possible when using a page off a general website (as opposed to using a document or report posted online). You want to try and get author, date posted or updated, title of the page, and URL. An organization can be the author. If you are missing the author, move the title in front of the year. If you do not have a date, put (n.d.).
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of the page. Retrieved from http://completeURL.com
It is important to remember to have accurate, stable URLs when citing so the reader can find the same information if necessary. If the author uses a screen name instead of a real name, list the screen name. Also, since information can be easily changed, be sure to use the full date it was posted or updated.
Environmental Protection Agency. (2013, May 3). Laws & regulations. Retrieved from http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations
- Message Posted to a Newsgroup, Online Forum, or Discussion Group
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [Description of form]. Retrieved from http://www.completeURL.com
Simons, D. J. (2000, July 14). New resources for visual cognition [Discussion group message]. Retrieved from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/visualcognition/message/31
- Message Posted to an Electronic Mailing List
Since the URL doesn’t include the name of the list, it is provided before listing the URL.
Hammond, T. (2000, November 20). YAHC: Handle Parameters, DOI Genres, etc. [Electronic mailing list message] Retrieved from Ref-Links electronic mailing list, http://www.doi.org/mail-archive/ref-link/msg00088.html
- Blog Post
de Vries, J. (2012, October 13). A procrastinating post about grading fragrances [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://tmoaem.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-procrastinatory-post-about-grading.html
- Comment on a Blog Post
If the author is only known by a screen name, use that in place of the author name.
Scott, S. (2012, October 13). Re: A procrastinating post about grading fragrances [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://tmoaem.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-procrastinatory-post-about-grading.html
- Video Post
Moore, T. (2012, December 5). Understanding Wordpress Plugins. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07rqFm0MRO0