Citing and referencing: Websites and social media

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Websites and social media

Notes:

  • A document on the web (not a journal article) will often be a downloadable Word or .pdf file, available from a website or webpage. It can include government publications, curriculum documents and policy documents. A document on the web is referenced differently to a website.
  • Italicise the title of a standalone document found on the web.
  • Use the year of publication, or if the source undergoes regular revision, use the most recent update.
  • Use n.d. (no date) where no publication date is available.
  • Where no author is available, transfer the organisation behind the website, or the title, to the author space.
  • When citing an entire website or page or paraphrasing or direct quoting from the page/site give the address of the site in the text (no reference list entry is required).
  • When URL is long or complex, you may use a short version of the URL. Use a site such as Bitly URL Shortener to create manageable URLs. For example: Long URL https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/2e5a7bd9-4465-4fb6-8fca-041f0c874cb7/13426.pdf.asp Short URL https://bit.ly/2rprcj5 *Both URLs will access the same document.
  • For further information see Webpage on a website references.
  • Replicate emojis where possible or include name in square brackets. For example [winking face emoji] for https://emojipedia.org/winking-face/ 

Document on the web

Format

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (YYYY, Month DD). Title of work. Site Name. https://xxxxxx

Examples

Hughes, L., & McMichael, T. (2011). The critical decade: Climate change and health. Climate Council. https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/1bb6887d6f8cacd5d844fc30b0857931.pdf 

State of Victoria. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018, March 27). Guide for community and not-for-profit groups: Cake stalls. https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/policiesandguidelines/guide-for-community-cake-stalls-mar-18

  • Give the most specific date possible; include retrieval date only if the content is designed to change and the page is not archived.
  • Omit the site name when it is the same as the author.

Webpage

Format

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of work. Site Name. https://xxxxxx

Example

Craig, E. (2020, April 9). How boredom can inspire adventure. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200408-how-boredom-can-inspire-adventure

Webpage with group author

Format

Name of organization in full. (YYYY, Month DD). Title of work. Site Name. https://xxxxxx or Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://xxxxxx

OR

Title of page or document. (YYYY, Month DD). https://xxxxxx or Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://xxxxxx

  • Give the most specific date possible; include retrieval date only if the content is designed to change and the page is not archived.
Example

Australian Psychological Society. (2010). Bushfire resources: Psychological preparedness and recovery. https://www.psychology.org.au/for-the-public/Psychology-Topics/Disasters/Bushfires?Redirected=true

  • Omit the site name when it is the same as the author.
In-text citation

. . . (Australian Psychological Society, 2010)

OR

Australian Psychological Society (2010) . . .

Image from the web

Format

Artist last name, Initial. (Year). Title of work [Format]. Site Name. https://xxxxxx

Example

Sievers, W. (1966). Monash University [Photograph]. Trove. https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/15565401?q=monash&c=picture&versionId=18284000

Online forum, discussion group, or blog post

Post format

Author, A. A. [Screen name if applicable]. (YYYY, Month DD). Post title. Blog name. https://xxxxxx

Post example

Thomson, P. (2020, September 7). LitReview–Getting to structure, part one. Patter. https://patthomson.net/

Comment format

Author, A. A. (YYYY, Month DD). Title or first sentence [Comment “article or post title”]. Blog name. https://xxxxxx

  • If the author's full name is not listed use their screen name without brackets.
  • If the author is a group or a company do not use a full stop between the author's name and the screen name.
Comment example

Langan, K. (2020, September 9). This was really useful, thanks so much for sharing! [Comment on the post LitReview–Getting to structure, part one”]. Patter. https://patthomson.net/2020/09/07/litreview-getting-to-structure-part-one/#comments

In-text citation for post or comment

. . . (Langan, 2020)

OR

Langan (2020) . . .

Twitter, Instagram and TikTok

Profile format

Author, A. A. or Group Name [@username]. (n.d.). Content up to first 20 words [Page type]. Tweet. Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://xxxxxx

Profile example

National Geographic [@NatGeo]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://twitter.com/NatGeo

Tweet format

Author, A. A. or Group Name [@username]. (YYYY, Month DD). Content up to first 20 words [Page type]. Instagram. Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://xxxxxx

Tweet example

National Geographic [@NatGeo]. (2020, August 17). Ravens can plan for the future. Octopuses create armor out of coconut shells. Some animals have senses we can’t even understand  [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://twitter.com/NatGeo/status/1295090469072928773

  • If the tweet includes an image or link to an article indicate that in square brackets after the title; for example [Video attached], [Image attached].
In-text citation for profile or tweet

. . . (National Geographic, 2020)

OR

National Geographic (2020) . . .

Facebook and others

Page format

Author, A. A. or Username or Group Name. (n.d.). Update title up to first 20 words [Page type]. Facebook. Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://xxxxxx

Page example

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.facebook.com/WHO/

Post format

Author, A. A. or Username or Group Name. (YYYY, Month DD). Update title up to first 20 words [Page type]. Facebook. https://xxxxxx

Post examples

World Health Organization. (2020, January 14). Urgent health challenges for the next decade: [exclamation mark emoji] Elevating health in the climate debate. The climate crisis is a health crisis [Image attached]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WHO/photos/a.167668209945237/2853056008073097/?type=3&theater

World Health Organization. (2020, September 24). How to wear a fabric mask safely during COVID-19: Don'ts. [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WHO/videos/1010459366082970

In-text citation for page or post

. . . (World Health Organization, 2020)

OR

World Health Organization (2020) . . .