Home  ]Proper Reference Format for Sources
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With thanks to:
Jay Bhatt,
Information Services Librarian (Engineering)
W. W. Hagerty Library
Drexel University
Email: bhattjj@drexel.edu
Phone: (215) 895-1873

Information obtained from full-text electronic resources should be cited in bibliographies and notes just as print sources are cited. If the electronic source does not have page numbers, don't invent them: omit them, giving the author's last name in the parentheses and some other indication of location. The usual substitute is to use "access points" like absolute paragraph numbers (you have to count them yourself) or paragraph numbers relative to section numbers instead. Say "Smith paragraph 12" or "Smith section 2" or "Smith Methodology paragraph 1" (where "Methodology" is the name of a section).


The following locations provide information on citing electronic sources:


Citing InfoTrac's Expanded Academic ASAP [Top]

The primary reason for citation is to credit the author and publisher with their original work; when using electronic resources it is also necessary to indicate "access points" for the information. The examples that follow are based on 4th edition MLA style. For more examples and in-depth explanations, consult the MLA Handbook, 4th edition, sections 4.8, 4.9, and 4.10.

Use the standard citation style for whatever type of source you are citing (e.g. A magazine article, a journal article, a newspaper article) then add the word Online followed by a period, then the name of the computer service, (italicized or underlined), and the date you accessed the service. Follow standard MLA style for presenting the date.

Typical Citation Format
Author, "Title of the Article." Title of the Periodical, Underlined publication information. Online. Name of Computer Service. Date of Access.

Magazine Article Example
Lacayo, Richard. "Bringing Down the House: House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich." Time 7 Nov. 1994: 46. Online. Expanded Academic Index ASAP. 15 Sept. 1996.

Journal Article Example
Lemond, John. "Certification of Environmental Professionals and Accreditation Standards for University Programs." BioScience 44 (1994): 475-483. Online. Expanded Academic Index ASAP. 17 Sept. 1996.

Newspaper Article Example
Rabinovitz, Jonathan. "Look Who Came to Dinner: Gingrich." The New York Times 10 Sept. 1996: A17. Online. Expanded Academic Index ASAP. 17 Sept. 1996.

Citing Items Without Page Numbers--Excerpt from Li and Crane [Top]

For electronic journals, supply volume and issue, separated by a period, then date (in parentheses), followed by a colon and some indicator of the location of the article in the electronic journal or a notation on length.

Failing this, give "n.pag." for no pagination. This information is followed, in the case of commercial online databases and CD-ROMs, by medium statement, supplier, database name(italicized or underlined), database number, and item identifier.


[include author and title of article] Antiquity 68.261 (1994): 3 pp.

[include author and title of article] Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23.1 (1995): n.pag. Online Information Access. Expanded Academic Index ASAP. A16352317 (the item is 3 pages long).