Bibliography For Websites Used By Private

Citing a general webpage/website article with an author

Note: Many sources have APA citation formats for their online versions (e.g., online newspapers, dictionaries and encyclopedias). Check out our other guides or the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) first to see if there is a citation for a specific source type in an online format.

Webpage/Website Articles General Structure:

Author, F.M. (Year, Month Date of publication). Title of webpage/article. Retrieved from URL

Note: Only include the retrieval date if the content is likely to change over time (such as wikis). If necessary, include the retrieval month date, year, (in that order) between “Retrieved” and “from URL” in the last segment of the citation.

Note: When a website does not have a webpage/article title, replace it in the citation with the website title.


Example:

Limer, E. (2013, October 1). Heck yes! The first free wireless plan is finally here. Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/heck-yes-the-first-free-wireless-plan-is-finally-here-1429566597

 


Citing a general webpage/website article without an author

Structure:

Title of webpage/article. (Year, Month Date of publication). Retrieved from URL

 

Example:

India: Country specific information. (2013, October 3). Retrieved from http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1139.html

Note: If the source you are citing is a standalone source, meaning an entire book, television series, or film, the title of such sources should be in italics. If, however, you are citing a piece of a larger source, i.e. a journal article, a webpage on a website, or an episode of a show, the title should be in sentence case and not in italics.

 

Q: This page describes citing specific webpages and website articles. Can I cite an entire website?

A: According to the APA manual (6th edition), it is not necessary to cite a website in its entirety in a reference list. Instead, include a reference in the body of your paper.

Example: The Department of Justice has just released a new site called ReportCrime.gov at http://www.reportcrime.gov/ to help people identify and report crimes in their area.


Q: Do I have to cite the computer software I mention in my paper?
A: The Publication Manual specifies that a reference is not necessary for “standard software.” What is “standard”? Examples are Microsoft Word, Java, and Adobe Photoshop. Even less ubiquitous software, like SPSS or SAS, does not need to be referenced.

Note: We don’t keep a comprehensive list of what programs are “standard.” You make the call.

In your text, if you mention a program, do include the version number of the software. For example, “We asked participants to type their responses in a Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, Version 14.0.7128.5000) file.”

However, you should provide a reference for specialized software. For example, let's say you used an open source software package to display items to the participants in your study. You should cite it. The reference format follows our usual who-when-what-where format.

  • Use an individual’s name in the reference if he or she has proprietary rights to the program. In all other cases, create a reference as you would for unauthored works.
  • After the title, in brackets, provide a descriptor for the item. This helps the reader immensely.
  • If the software is available online, provide the URL rather than the publisher name and location.

Example References

Esolang, A. N. (2014). Obscure Reference Generator [Computer software]. Washington, DC: E & K Press.
Customized Synergy [Computer software]. (2014). Retrieved from http://customizedsynergy.com

Example Text Citations

“We used the Obscure Reference Generator (Version 2.1; Esolang, 2014) and Version 1.0 of Customized Synergy (2014) to complete our work."

Q: Is the name of the program italicized?
A: No: not in the text and not in the reference.

Q: Is the name of the program capitalized?
A: Yes, the name of the software is a proper noun and should be capitalized, both in the text and in the reference list.

Q: What about programming languages?
A: You don’t need to include references for programming languages. But, feel free to discuss them in the text of your paper, if relevant.

Q: What about mobile apps?
A: Yes, you can cite those, too. If you need to cite an app, this blog post has everything you need to know.

Q: What about video games?
A: Yes, video games are software. Follow the templates above for the reference and in-text citation.

Q: What if I used an online application to have my participants complete a survey?
A: Like Survey Monkey? If you mention the use of a site, simply provide the URL in your text (e.g., “Participants were given a link to an online survey, which the authors created using Survey Monkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com).” However, if you’re citing a particular page from the cite (e.g., a help document or the “About” page), you should reference that page just as you would any other. See this eggcellent post for more details about citing websites.

Q: What if I wrote the software myself?

A: If the reader can retrieve it, you can include a reference, following the template above. If you’ve created and published/posted software, that certainly falls into the “specialized” area noted above.

But, if you’ve written software that is not retrievable, a reference is not possible.  If, for example, you’ve included the full code as an appendix, you will want to mention that appendix in the text, but a reference is not needed. You might also find these post about how to write about yourself and whether and how to cite one’s own experiences helpful.

I've tried to cover everything, but please let me know what I missed. I look forward to questions and comments!

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