Citing Electronic Resources

  • The goal of a citation is to allow the information to be retrieved again. With this in mind, check to make sure that the information you provide will allow your reader to retrieve the material you cite.
  • Electronic information MUST be evaluated. Confirm the authority, accuracy, and currency of the material you find online. Consult your instructor about using WWW-derived information.
  • Punctuation and capitalization of the “electronic address” of the resource should appear exactly as it is used in the database.
  • Either "hanging-indent" or regular paragraph indent may be used for references as long as the format is consistent throughout.
  • Either italics or underlining may be used for titles, as long as they are used consistently.
  • References should be double spaced.
Citing E-mail:
E-mail can be falsified. It is your responsibility to verify e-mail sources, such as with a telephone call, before including them. E-mail communications should be cited as personal communications:

Theory and experiment alike become meaningless unless the scientist brings to them, and his fellows can assume in him, the respect of a lucid honesty with himself (J. Brownowski, personal communication, September 1, 2000).


Basic Format:
Author’s Lastname, First initial. (date of publication or “NO DATE” if unavailable). Title of article or section used. Title of complete work. Retrieved (month/day/year), from the World Wide Web: (full URL of site)

(within text of paper - citing entire site)
One way to take an active role in Education is to explore what the National Education Association web site has to offer (


Online Journal Article:
The full URL of articles retrieved from database searches such as the ones below will not function in subsequent online sessions and should not be used. Use just the name of the database.
Author (date). Article title. Journal/magazine title #,(vol), pp. Retrieved [month day, year] from [database name] database, ([database name], [item # if applicable]) on the World Wide Web: [URL]
Preece, J. (1998, November). Ethnic cleansing as an instrument of nation-state creation: Changing state practices and evolving legal norms. Human Rights Quarterly 20(4) 817-842. Retrieved September 1, 2000, from Project Muse database, on the World Wide Web:
Bar-Yosef, O. & Callander, J. (1999, December). The woman from Tabun: Garrod's doubts in historical perspective . Journal of Human Evolution 37, 879-885. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from IDEAL database, (IDEAL, doi:10.1006/jhev.1999.0368) on the World Wide Web:
Online Newspaper Article:
Slater, E. (1999, Jan. 5). Ex-wrestler sworn as governor. The Record Online. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from THE RECORD ONLINE database on the World Wide Web:


Ricks, T. E. & Lancaster, J. (2000, Sept. 1). U.S. antimissile unit Ready to go to Israel. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from THE WASHINGTON POST ONLINE database on the World Wide Web:
Online Reference Book:
Strunk, W. (1918; 1995, May). The elements of style. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from Great Books Online database on the World Wide Web:
Computer virus. (1999). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from Britannica Online database on the World Wide Web:
Web Sites:
NAACP (2000, August 9). NAACP President suspends Dallas branch President over anti-semitic Remarks. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from NAACP on the World Wide Web:


New Jersey Mosquitos: Biology & Control (2000, August 20). Associated executives of mosquito control work in New Jersey. Retrieved September 1, 2000 from New Jersey Mosquitos on the World Wide Web:


More examples and information may be found at:


How to cite information from the worldwide web
Online! A reference guide to using Internet sources
Writer’s handbook: documentation, APA style
Electronic sources: APA style of citation
See also:
Electronic Styles: a handbook for citing electronic information
REF PN171.F56 L5 1996
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
REF BF76.7 .P83 1994