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

Information from websites and social media (including blogs, newsgroups, online forums, Twitter and Facebook)


  • 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 (see below).
  • Italicise the title of a standalone document found on the web. Do not italicise the titles of webpages or websites.
  • 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.
  • For message board posts include exact date of posting.
  • When citing an entire website or page and not any document in particular or paraphrasing or direct quoting from the page/site it is sufficient to give the address of the site in the text (no reference list entry is required).
  • For further information see How to cite something you found on a website in APA style including what to do if information is missing.
  •"  is an automatic citation generator for Twitter created by Ben Hedlund. (Citation appears in both APA and MLA style)


Document on the web

Format Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of work. Retrieved from URL

Huges, L., & McMichael, T. (2011). The critcal decade: Climate change and health. Retrieved from

Mansai, G. (2014). Dehydration (children): Oral rehydration solution [Evidence summary]. Retrieved from

Note: this example of the Joanna Briggs document could also be treated as an authored report from a non-government organisation if you wish to include more specific details of the source.


Web page

Format Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of work. Retrieved from URL

Anderson, L. (2012). Why communication in the nursing profession is important. Retrieved from


Web page with no author


Name of organization in full. (Year of publication). Title of work. Retrieved from URL


Title of page or document. (Year of publication). Retrieved from URL


Australian Psychological Society. (2010). Bushfire resources: Psychological preparedness and recovery. Retrieved from


A pedagogy of listening. (2011). Retrieved from


Image from the Web

Format Artist last name, initial. (year). Title of work [Format]. Retrieved from URL

Sievers, W. (1966). Monash University [Photograph]. Retrieved from


Online forum, discussion group, or blog post

Format Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of post [description of form]. Retrieved from

Chee, C. (2010, January 10). The most important psychology article of the 21st century: The U.S. isn't discovering how mental illness works, it's spreading it worldwide [Web blog post]. Retrieved from http//


Social media:

  • Online posts from social media such as Facebook and Twitter are generally not considered to be of a scholarly nature. As such they are not covered specifically in the APA style manual.  You need to provide enough information for your reader to be able to access the information.  Generally this will include the author or user name, date (if available), title of post, the type of post in square brackets (e.g [Facebook update] or [Twitter feed]), the retrieval date and the URL. 
  • Also note that due to the nature of social media being a live update format and not about archiving, some of these pages may become inaccessible in the future.


Format Username or Group Name. (Yr, Mth Day). Post title [Page type]. Retrieved Month, Day, Year, from

Barack Obama. (2009a, July 15). Launched American Graduation Initiative to help additional 5 mill. Americans graduate college by 2020: [Twitter post]. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from



Format Username or Group Name. (Yr, mth day.). Update title [Page type]. Retrieved Month, Day, Year, from

Barack Obama. (2009b, October 9). Humbled. [Facebook update]. Retrieved October 11, 2009, from id=6815841748&share_id=154954250775&comments=1#s154954250775<./p>