Web Rules

APA Basics (Download the Printer Friendly PDF)

Web Rules

Sources Published Directly Online

Website names: Sources published directly online have no in print originals, and therefore, it is important to include online publication information. With APA 6, this means primarily the URL. The new APA guidelines suggest that a website name is not always needed, given that it can be deduced from the URL or by visiting the site. Generally include the website name if the content is published by the website.

URLs: Unlike APA 5, where you would often include the exact URL, APA 6 recommends to only cite the homepage URL, and only the exact URL if the page is not properly indexed or easy to find from the homepage. For blog posts, user contributed content, and discussion forums, APA 6 recommends including the exact URL.

Date retrieved: Unlike APA 5 where the date of retrieval is included in every online citation, APA 6 recommends including it only if the source material may change over time. Also keep in mind that you can use “Available from” instead of “Retrieved from” when the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material rather than to the material itself.

DOIs: If an article has a digital object identifier (DOI) number, you need only the DOI number, and no URL or retrieval date.

Citing an article from an online only resource

Freidland, L. (2008, September 22). Top 10 natural and wildlife adventure travel trips. Retrieved from http://adventuretravel.about.com

Citing an entire website with no identifiable electronic publication date

EasyBib.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2009, from http://www.easybib.com

Citing an article from an online only news source

Chen, S. (2009, May 7). Growing up is hard with mom in prison. CNN. Retrieved http://www.cnn.com

Citing an article from an online newspaper

Shorto, R. (2009, April 29). Going Dutch. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

Note that when citing online sources in APA, generally follow the same structure of its in print equivalent, and then follow this information with the date of access and the URL.

Citing an online only journal

Glotzer, R., & Federlein, A. (2007). Miles that bind: Commuter marriage and family strength. Michigan Family Review, 12, 7-31. Retrieved June 22, 2009, from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=mfr;cc=mfr;q1=Miles%20that%20Bind;rgn=main;view=text;idno=4919087.0012.102
*Note: The above example has a poorly indexed URL and the material may change over time. Hence the URL is included.

Citing a journal article with a digital object identifier

Oakley, R. (2004). How the mind hurts and heals the body. American Psychologist, 12(1), 25-47. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.59.1.29

If you are citing an online only book, the electronic information replaces the publication information.

Citing an online-only book

Eckel, B. (n.d.). Thinking in Java (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.bruceeckel.com

Sources Published Indirectly Online

As opposed to some sources published directly online (by a website), other sources may be originally in print, or in another medium, and found online. Cite these sources as you would in their original form, and then add the relevant web information (date accessed and URL).

Citing a book originally in print found online

Catton, B. (2005). The Civil War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://www.books.google.com

Citing a newsletter found online with no page information

Puzzanchera, C. (2009, April). Juvenile arrests 2007. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov

Citing a video found online

West, K. (2009). Amazing [Online Video]. Roc-A-Fella Records. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at4OQvNlxSw
*Note: Because this is from a website with user generated content, the exact URL is included, instead of the homepage.

Citing a painting viewed online

Picasso, P. (1921). Three musicians [Painting found in Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Retrieved from http://www.artquotes.net

Citing a blog post

Schonfled, E. (2009, September 13). Shutterfly buys Tiny Pictures for a tiny price. TechCrunch. Retrieved from http://www.techcrunch.com
*Note: Because blog posts are informally published, do not italicize the article titles.

Sources found in online databases typically have been published elsewhere. Include as much as the original publication information as possible. The new APA rules explain that database names are not necessary, but can be included as supplementary information.

Citing an originally in print journal article found in a database

Ahn, H., & Kim, K. (2008). Using genetic algorithms to optimize nearest neighbors for data mining. Annals of Operations Research, 263(1), 5-18. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier



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