In-Text Citation


Selections from Books


Online Sources

Citing Internet Sources in CSE Style

Remember that entries in the Works Cited list are listed alphabetically by author.  

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 CBE 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.  

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 little good.  

The information on this page is based on ONLINE! Citation Styles. Note that this source was not prepared by the CBE itself, but instead is based on the citation principles presented in the CBE style manual.  Since the latest CBE style manual was published in 1994, there does not yet exist an official style for citing electronic information.  

There are three sections to this page: a detailed chart on formatting references, citation examples, and general reference forms.

The components of a reference for articles from an online source, listed in the proper order: 


Formatting Details

Database Article Print Citation
  • If you're citing the electronic version of an article that has a print equivalent, give the complete print equivalent citation here.  
  • Refer to the Periodical Articles page for details.
  • Then skip to the Larger work title part, where you will give the title of the database. 
  Period (.)
  • Format author name(s) as follows: last name, followed by the first and middle initials.  There is no comma following the last name, and no periods or spaces separate the initials, as in "Last FM."  

  • For two to 10 authors, list the authors as above, separating names by a comma and a space. 

  • If there are more than 10 authors, list the first ten, followed by "and others."  

  • If the article is anonymous, write "[Anonymous]" in place of the author.    

  • If the author is an organization, give the organization's name here.  If the organization has an abbreviation, put the abbreviation in brackets before its name, e.g. "[CBE] Council of Biology Editors."  

  Period (.)
Update Date
  • Give the date the document was published or last updated.  Give the year, followed by the month (abbreviated by the first three letters only and with no period) and day, e.g. "2000 Jul 11."
  • If the month or exact day aren't available, omit them.
  • 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 you're citing an email, give the date the email was sent. 
  Period (.)
  • The title of the article is written in plain text.  Only the first word and proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized.  There are only a few exceptions.  
  • If there is a secondary title or subtitle, it can be included after the main title.  Separate the two with a colon and space afterward. 
  • If you're citing a web page, 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.)
  • If you're citing an e-mail, 
    • Use the subject line as the title.  
    • Then follow the subject line with "[Personal email]."
  • If you're citing a posting to a discussion list or forum, use the subject line as the title.  
  Period (.)
Larger Work Title
  • If you're citing a web page that is part of a larger work, give the title of the larger work here. Only the first word and proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized.  There are only a few exceptions.   [Example]
  • If you're citing an article from an electronic database, give the name of the database here. 
  Period (.)
  • If the source is a web page, enclose the URL (or web address) of the page within angle brackets (< >).  
    • 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."
  • If the article is from an online database, give the URL of the database's main page in angle brackets (< >), not the URL of the individual article.  The reader can search for the title or author, and the subscription service may not allow one to enter a direct URL. 
  • 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.  You can also turn off this feature permanently.
  • If you have to split the URL onto multiple lines, split it only after a slash.
  • The ending period goes outside the angle brackets.
  • If you're citing an email, omit this part. 

Period (outside the < >)

Access Date
  • Write "Accessed" followed by the date you accessed the page or read the email. 
  • Format the date as follows: give the year, followed by the month (abbreviated by the first three letters only and with no period) and day, e.g. "2000 Jul 11."
  • 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.
  Period (.)

Read the note on punctuation and spacing.

Citation Examples (from Online!)

Azar B, Martin S. 1999 Oct. APA's Council of Representatives endorses new standards 
for testing, high school psychology. APA Monitor. <
tools.html>. Accessed 1999 Oct 7. 
[Newspaper article]
Browning T. 1997. Embedded visuals: student design in Web spaces. Kairos: A Journal
for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments 3(1). <
kairos/2.1/features/browning/index.html>. Accessed 1997 Oct 21.
[Article in electronic journal]
Bryant P. 1999 Aug 28. Biodiversity and conservation. <
~sustain/bio65/index.html>. Accessed 1999 Oct 4.
[Online book]
[CBE] Council of Biology Editors. 1999 Oct 5. CBE home page. <http://>. Accessed 1999 Oct 7.
[Professional site]
Franke N. 1996 Apr 29. SoundApp 2.0.2 [Personal email]. Accessed 1996 May 3.
Myhrvold N. 1997 Jun 12. Confessions of a cybershaman. Slate. <
CriticalMass/97-06-12/CriticalMass.asp>. Accessed 1997 Oct 19. 
[Article in electronic magazine]
Pellegrino J. 1999 May 12. Homepage. <>. 
Accessed 1999 Nov 7.
[Personal home page]

Citation Examples for Databases from the JC Library

Rissing S. 2000 Jul 23. Democracy can't function without scientific literacy. The 
Dispatch (Columbus): p 7B. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. <
universe>. Accessed 2000 Jul 24.
Wheat S. 2000. Health services: four people working to make the world a healthier place.
Geographical 72.4 (1999): 88-89. FirstSearch. <>. Accessed
2000 Jul 24.

General Forms

Web page

Author. Update date. Document title. Title of complete work. <URL>. 
Access date. 

Journal article from online database

Author. Year. Article title. Journal title volume#(issue#):pages. Database name.
<URL>. Accessed date.

Newspaper article from online database

Author. Date. Article title. Newspaper title;section:pages(column#). Database name.
<URL>. Accessed date.

Magazine article from online database

Author. Date. Article title. Magazine title:pages. Database name.
<URL>. Accessed date.

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Created: 06/27/2000
Last Modified: 09/25/2002