Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Q&A: How do I cite a website for an article I wrote?

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Question: How do I cite a website in an article I wrote?

Answer:  It depends on the citation format required by the publisher or your instructor.
For something more informal (ie, a blog post, newsletter, local policy, memo), you might be able to choose the format.  Either way, check out the Library's Citing Sources LibGuide.

Citing sources is much easier than it used to be!   This page has a number of tools to help with your question from the "Anatomy of a Citation" to links that will help with proper citation formats for APA, PubMed, AMA, and others ...

For your specific question about how to cite a website, I would recommend one of the citation generator tools that allow you to enter a url, and the tool will scrape that page for the necessary citation info, and then spit out a usable and properly formatted citation.  

Try it:

APA Citation Generator (You could pick other formats-- I tend to like AMA and APA for our health care setting.)
> This one should be all set for you to pop in a website url

EasyBib is another tool that formats citations
    > Choose "Create Citations"
    > Choose your Source: Website
    > Copy and paste the url, and follow the on-screen prompts to add any missing info.
    > Be sure to check and see what the tool created for you.  You may need to make some corrections or adjustments.  But it should do most of the work for you.  

Then you should be able to copy and paste the formatted citation into your paper or article.

Here's an APA formatted citation for the Citing Sources LibGuide noted above:

  • Matucheski, M., 2020. LibGuides: Search Tips & Tutorials: Citing Sources. [online] Ascension Wisconsin Library Services.   Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2020].

Note the url and the date accessed.  These are important bits of information often left out when citing sources on the ever-changing world wide web.  If things change on this website in future, we know it was there on this date when you referenced it.  Additionally, a complete reference gives us clues to track it down in case it moves [It happens!] somewhere else on the web.  

These citation generator tools work well for single citations.  If you have a more involved list of references / citations, you may want to check out more fully-featured tools like Zotero or Mendeley.  

Questions or comments?

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