|Standard Documentation Formats - Electronic|
|Written by Margaret Procter, Writing Support|
Page 5 of 5
To refer to sources such as films, DVDs, or Internet documents, follow your chosen system as far as possible in giving author, title, and date, though you may not be able to give the equivalent of publisher or page numbers. You may have to improvise for some details. To confirm the reliability of your source and help your reader find the item, for instance, it may be helpful to name a publishing body (perhaps a professional organization) or to give the title of the entire site. Note that MLA now does not require URLs because they tend to be unreliable as well as unwieldy, and APA advises giving them only where the content of the webpage is likely to change over time.
For further advice, check the manuals mentioned above for each system.
The following examples show ways to include the necessary information in various citation formats--thus the different types of indentation, and abbreviation. See also the electronic references included on previous screens as examples of the different systems.
e.g. [film on laser disc, listed by director: note in endnote/footnote system]:
e.g. [e-mail message: MLA system, item in Works Cited]: N.B. Medium is not required; include the receiver under the category Other Contributors.
e.g. [e-mail message: APA system, reference in text] N.B. Don't cite personal communications such as email in the reference list of an APA document, because they cannot be consulted by other readers. Just give basic information in your text, like this:
e.g. [Web document: MLA system, item in Works Cited] N.B. This entry follows the MLA requirement to provide the URL. The date of access is not required, but you may add it as an optional element if useful to your reader.
e.g. [Web document: APA system, item in References list]: APA requires n.d. in parentheses when no publication date is available. The retrieval date and URL help establish the version used, since this is a file that may change over time. .
e.g., [article in print journal read online through database service: MLA system, item in Works Cited list]:
e.g. [article in journal published only online: MLA system, item in Works Cited list]: N.B. No DOI available so URL supplied instead; date of access not required.
e.g. [article in journal published only online, no DOI: APA system, item in References list]:
e.g. [posting to newsgroup, numbered-note system, item in References list]: