Citing sources that you find online can be a little different than when you use a book. We've put some frequently asked questions below. Simply click on the question to see the answer.
How is citing an online resource different than a book or other print resources?
The main difference between citing a print resource (on paper), and online resources is that online sources need different information on where it came from. The information on where a source came from is either going to be a URL, or a DOI. Websites and other online resources not found through library databases will generally use a URL. Most things found on google will use a URL. Journal articles that you find through the library's databases will usually use a DOI. For specific information, look at our example guides for APA and MLA, or ask any of the library staff. [close explanation]
What is a DOI? I thought I only needed the URL.
DOI stands for 'Digital Object Identifer', it's a unique number that is assigned to a journal article that is available digitally (online). You can think of it like a 'Social Insurance Number' for articles: each article has its own number used to identify it! Using the DOI, you can search for an article in any database, not just the one you found it in originally. The reason you should use a DOI instead of a URL, is that a URL is not permanent. The URL might be different, or the page might be gone when someone goes to check your sources. So whenever possible, use a DOI! If you have more questions visit the reference desk, or contact us by phone, email, or chat. [close explanation]
How do I cite this website if I can't find the author or date?
All the information you need to cite any website should be found on that website with a little bit of searching. Often on websites there isn't one specific person that can be given credit for the whole site. If it is an organization you can cite the website with their name in the author portion. It's also common for websites to not have a clear date that you can use for citations. If this is the case for your website, use n.d. (which stands for no date) instead. Visit our APA and MLA guides for formatting help, or contact the library for one-on-one guidance. [close explanation]
How do I cite videos or podcasts that I get online?
Citing videos or podcasts that you found online is very similar to all the other citations you have made so far. If there is an author's name on the video of podcast, use that in your citation. If not, look for a username of the person who posted the video or podcast that you're using. For specific information on how to format each citation, visit our APA or MLA guides. If you have questions you can always contact the library! [close explanation]