Selections from Books
Citing Internet Sources in APA Style
Remember that entries in the Works Cited list are listed alphabetically
This page covers web pages and articles in periodical databases
such as Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, FirstSearch, Proquest
Direct, JSTOR, Science Direct, etc.
Do not just copy the "citation"
given by the databases. While this part provides important
information, it often leaves out the far more important information
of the access date and the database name. It may also not
be in APA style.
The citation for an electronic source includes citation for any
print counterpart of the source, followed by information about the
electronic resource. It is crucial that this information be
included, because the electronic resource may be an updated version
of the print counterpart. The date the electronic resource
was accessed is important because the resource may be changed before
someone looking at your sources checks it.
Thus, the first step in citing information from the Internet is
to construct the citation for the print counterpart of the source,
if one exists. You will then attach a statement of one of
the following forms to the end of the citation:
day, year from the World Wide Web:
Retrieved month day, year from
database name database (specific
database) on the World Wide Web:
URL of home page
Note that different details are required for articles obtained
from periodical databases. See the table below for precise
When citing a web page, cite the specific page from which
you obtained information, not the site's home page. Remember
that a citation is supposed to make it so your reader can find your
original source; including the home page of a large site will do
The APA's document "Electronic
References Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association"
provides the most up-to-date information on citing information obtained
on the Internet. All the the information presented here is
taken from that document.
The components of a References list entry for articles from an
online source, listed in the proper order:
with Print Equivalent
For the first
(or only) author, first include the author's last
name, followed by a comma, followed by the author's first
initial and middle initial (if known).
For two or more authors, format
each author's name as above. Follow each author's
name with a comma and precede the last author with an
ampersand (&). Write all author names (do not
use et al. as in MLA).
If the author is a corporate or institutional
publication, give the name of the corporation or institution
as the author.
- If the work is a translation, give the original
author here. The translator will be listed later.
- If there is more than one work by an author on the
References page, alphabetize the works by the next element.
If there are multiple authors, alphabetize by the second
author. If not, alphabetize by the publication date.
- If the article is unsigned, begin the citation
with the article title, then publication date. [Example]
||Period (.) (just one, i.e. not
- Include the four-digit year of
publication. Enclose the date within parentheses.
Then give a comma, a space, and then the month and date.
Do not abbreviate the month and use digits for the date.
- This date is when the page was last changed. The last
update date of a web page is usually given at the bottom
or top of a page. A posting date may also be given
on the page one level higher (such as a page that is an
index of articles).
- If no date is available, write "n. d."
||Period (.) outside the parentheses
- Include the title of the article,
underlined or in italics. [Example]
- Use either the header of the page or the title that displays
in the Netscape title bar. (If the page has frames,
it's best to right click and choose "Open Frame in
New Window" to get the frame title.)
- Click here for notes on
- If the place of publication
is known, list it here.
- If the page has a publisher
(usually an institutional publisher), cite it here.
- Always begin this section
with the word "Retrieved."
- Follow it with the date you accessed the source.
Use the following order: month, day (digits), and year (four
digits), e.g. "July 4, 2000." Do not abbreviate
- This date is different from the update date, which gives
the date the page was last updated. It is when you
looked at it, and it is important because the site may have
changed since then.
||None (next element is part of
the same sentence)
- If the source is a web page,
- Continue the sentence with "from the World Wide
- Follow the colon with a space and the complete URL
of the page. There is no ending punctuation.
- If the source page has frames, it is best to use the
URL of the frame you're citing. In Netscape, you
can locate that URL by right clicking the frame and
selecting "Open Frame in New Window."
- The last sentence should read: "Retrieved [date]
from the World Wide Web: [URL]"
- If the article is from a online database,
- Continue the sentence with "from"
and the name of the database. Then write the word
- In parentheses, give the name of the specific database
you used, e.g. WilsonSelect, etc.
- Complete the sentence with "on the World Wide
- Follow the colon with a single space and then give
the URL of the service's main page. There is no
- The last sentence should read: "Retrieved [date]
from [database name] database ([smaller database within])
on the World Wide Web: [URL of database's home page]"
- In a printed essay, the URL should not be a link,
although Word's AutoCorrect feature will convert text it
thinks is a web address to a link. To convert this
URL back to plain text, type Ctrl+Z (Undo) immediately.
- If you have to split the URL onto multiple lines,
split it only after a slash.
||None (so it's not confused as
part of the URL)
A note on italicization and underlining: as of the 5th edition
APA prefers italics over underlining. This is a change from previous
editions where it was left up to the author.
Citation Examples (from The Ready Reference
Connolly, F. W. (1995, October 21). Intellectual honesty in the era of computing.
Chicago: Loyola University. Retrieved August 9, 1998 from the World Wide Web:
[Article at Scholarly Site]
Denman, K. (1993). Emily Dickinson's volcanic punctuation. Emily
Dickinson Journal 2,(1). Retrieved September 9, 1998 from the World Wide
[Article in Scholarly Journal]
Gordon, D. (1998, September). The usual suspects. Chicago Reporter, 16.
Retrieved September 28, 1998 from the World Wide Web:
[Source from Subscription Service]
James, F. (1998, August 25). U.S. judges reject census sampling. Chicago
Tribune, 128, p. A1. Retrieved August 25, 1998 from the World Wide Web:
Jericho. (1997). Encyclopedia of the Orient. Centre d'Information Arabe Scandinave.
Retrieved January 4, 1998 from the World Wide Web: http://l-cias.com/e.o/jericho.htm
[Article in a Reference Database]
Lawton, M. (1997, May 14). ETS disputes charges of gender bias. Education Week, 16, 1, 3-5.
Retrieved June 3, 1998 from the World Wide Web: http://www.edweek.org/we/vol-16/33ets.h16
Neumann, K. (1998, August 26). Kurt Neumann's Homepage. Retrieved August 27, 1998 from the
World Wide Web: http://www.harper.cc.il.us/~kneumann
Natural Resources Defense Council. (1997). Reclaiming our heritage: What we need to do to
preserve America's national parks. New York: Natural Resources Defense Council. Retrieved
July 31, 1998 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nrdc.org/nrdc/nrdcpro/nrdcpro/roh/html
[Lengthy Online Document]
Thoreau, H. D. (1854). Walden. Chicago: University of Illinois.
Retrieved September 1, 1998 from the World Wide Web: ftp://uiarchive.cso.uius.edu/
Citation information is taken from the
Ready Reference Handbook MLA
examples and converted to APA
style for comparison. (Dodds 348-51)
There are also several examples
in the document Electronic
References Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association.
More examples can be found
Citation Examples for Databases from the
Barnett, A. (1999). A survey of Internet searches and their results. Reference
and User Services Quarterly, 39,(2) 177-181. Retrieved July 4, 2000 from
FirstSearch database (WilsonSelect) on the World Wide Web:
Zuckerman, S. (2000, July 4). Bank wins round on ATM fees; judge rules S.F. surcharge
allowed. San Francisco Chronicle, p. A1. Retrieved July 4, 2000 from Lexis-Nexis
Academic Universe database (General News) on the World Wide Web: