What is a bibliography for websites?
A bibliography for websites is a list of works cited from the internet that is included at the end of your essay. When you create a bibliography you need to list all of the sources that have informed your writing. This includes articles and information retrieved online.
Each academic institution will have a preferred style and guidelines on how they want the information presented, so it’s crucial that you follow it to ensure you don’t miss out on valuable marks. To view examples of how website citations are formatted in your academic institution, select your style from the list below.
How to write a website bibliography
Different source types require different formatting. So the way you reference websites used in your academic work is distinct from other formats, such as books.
The exact structure of the website citation will depend on whether you have the author information or not. If you do, you’ll need to include the author’s name and date of publication, along with the article title and URL of where you retrieved the information from. If the author’s name isn’t available then it’s acceptable to leave it out, but all the other information must be provided.
Is there an easier way? Yes, using RefME’s free mobile and web tools you can have the whole bibliography completed automatically in a matter of seconds in whichever style you choose. We’ve got 7,000 and counting – so you’re sure to find the one you need.
Website bibliography example
APA website example:
The Guardian. (2015, March 1). Business and finance news from Guardian US. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/us/business
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.
|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!