Citing and referencing: Websites, blogs and social media

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

Website, blogs, and social media

Websites

Websites can be referred to by their title, by the name of the owner, sponsor or author, or by a descriptive phrase. When the source does not include an author’s name, cite the name of the organisation that owns the website. Some websites use their domain name as their website name. In the note and reference, titled sections or pages of websites are enclosed in quotation marks, but titles of entire websites are not. The word "website" enclosed in parentheses may be added after the title of the site if the nature of the source may otherwise be unclear.

If the source is undated, reference the access date and include n.d. as the year of publication. For frequently updated sources, reference a time stamp or a last modified date and retain a copy of the information. For assessment tasks, students may be required to include access dates for all online sources. Online sources may not have fixed page numbers, in the absence of page numbers use other locaters such as section headings if needed.

Rule for Note

Note number. "Title or description of specific page," Title, description, or owner of website, Year of Publication, URL.

Example of Note entry

1. National Architecture Prizes & Competitions,” The Australian Institute of Architects, 2018, http://www.architecture.com.au/events/national/prizes-competitions.  

Subsequent Note entry

2. National Architecture Prizes & Competitions.

Rule for Bibliography

Author’s Surname, Author’s Given Name, or Organisation's Name. "Title of Webpage." Website Name, Year of Publication. URL.

Example of Bibliography entry

The Australian Institute of Architects. “National Architecture Prizes & Competitions.” architecture.com.au. 2018. http://www.architecture.com.au/events/national/prizes-competitions.

 

Blog posts

Citations of blogs include the author of the post; the title of the post, the title of the blog, the date of the post, and the URL. Titles of blog posts, like articles in journals, are enclosed in quotation marks. Titles of blogs are set in italics. The word "blog" enclosed in parentheses may be added after the title of the blog, unless it is part of the title.

Blog posts, like newspaper articles, can often be cited in footnotes alone; if a bibliography entry is needed, it is listed under the author’s surname. The distinction between a blog and a website will be sometimes blurry. When in doubt, treat the source like a website.

Rule for Note

Note number. Author's First Name and Last Name, "Title of the Blog Post," Title of the Blog (blog), Date of Post, URL.

Example of Note entry

1. Martin Earl, 'What Must Be Said," Poetry Foundation (blog), April 10, 2012, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2012/04/what-must-be-said/.

Subsequent Note entry

2. Earl, "What must be said."

Rule for Bibliography

Author's Last Name, Author's Given Name. "Title of the Blog Post." Title of the Blog (blog),  Date of Post. URL.

Example of Bibliography entry

Earl, Martin. "What Must Be Said." Poetry Foundation (blog), April 10, 2012. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2012/04/what-must-be-said/.

 

Social media posts 

Publicly shared social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter are cited by the author’s name along with their screen name. Because they do not generally include a title, citations can quote the entire content. Privately shared social media sources are cited like other forms of personal communication. To differentiate between multiple posts of the same day include a time stamp. Generally social media sources need not be included in bibliographies, but if a bibliography entry is needed, it is listed under the author’s surname.

Rule for Note

Note number. Author’s Full Name (Author’s Screen Name), The First 160 Characters of the Post (or nearest phrase if longer), Name of the Social Media Service, Date Posted, URL.

Example of Note entry

1. Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien), “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets,” Twitter, April 22, 2015, https://twitter.com/ConanOBrien/status/590940792967016448.

Subsequent Note entry

2. O’Brien, “Earth Day."

Rule for Bibliography

Author’s Surname, Author’s Given Name (Author’s Screen Name). The First 160 Characters of the Post (or nearest phrase if longer). Name of the Social Media Service. Date Posted Including the Year. URL.

Example of Bibliography entry

O’Brien, Conan (@ConanOBrien). “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets,” Twitter. April 22, 2015. https://twitter.com/ConanOBrien/status/590940792967016448.

 

Websites

Websites can be referred to by their exact title, by the name of the sponsor or author, or by a descriptive phrase. When the resource does not include an author’s name, cite the name of the organisation that owns the website. Some websites use their domain name as their website name.

Informally published sources online may not include all the bibliographic information that formally published sources do. If the source is undated, reference the access date and include n.d. as the year of publication in both the reference list entry and the citation. For frequently updated sources, reference a time stamp or a last modified date and retain a copy of the information. For assessment tasks, students may be required to include access dates for all online sources.

Online sources may not have fixed page numbers, in the absence of page numbers use other locaters such as section headings.

Rule for Citation

(Author’s Surname or Organisation Year of Publication)

or

(Author’s Surname or Organisation, n.d.)

Example of Citation entry

(The Australian Institute of Architects 2018)

or

(Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, n.d.)

Rule for Reference list

Author or Organisation. Year of Publication, “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. URL.

or

Author or Organisation. n.d. “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. Accessed Date. URL.

Example of Reference list entry

The Australian Institute of Architects. 2018. “National Architecture Prizes & Competitions.” architecture.com.au. http://www.architecture.com.au/events/national/prizes-competitions.

or

Alliance for Linguistic Diversity. n.d. “Balkan Romani.” Endangered Languages. Accessed April 6, 2016. http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/lang/5342.

 

Blog posts

References to blogs include the author of the post; the title of the post, the title of the blog, the date of the post, and the URL. Titles of blog posts, like articles in journals, are enclosed in quotation marks. Titles of blogs are set in italics. The word blog enclosed in parentheses may be added after the title of the blog, unless it is part of the title. The distinction between a blog and a website will be sometimes blurry. When in doubt, treat the source like a website.

For assessment tasks, students may be required to include access dates for online sources.

Rule for Citation

(Author’s Surname Year Posted)

Example of Citation entry

(Earl 2012)

Rule for Reference list

Author’s Surname, Author’s Given Name. Year Posted. “Title of Blog Post.” Title of Blog (blog). URL. 

or

Author’s Surname, Author’s Given Name. Year Posted. “Title of Blog Post.” Title of Blog (blog). Accessed Date. URL. 

Example of Reference list entry

Earl, Martin. 2012. “What Must Be Said.” Harriet (blog). https://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2012/04/what-must-be-said.

 

Social media content (publicly available content shared on social media)

Publicly shared social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter are cited by the author’s name along with their screen name. Because they do not generally include a title, citations can quote the entire content. Privately shared social media sources are cited like other forms of personal communication. To differentiate between multiple posts of the same day include a time stamp.

Note: for social media content repeat the year along with the date posted in the reference list entry.

Rule for Citation

(Author’s Surname Year Posted)

or

(Author’s Screen Name Year Posted)

Example of Citation entry

(O’Brien 2015)

or

(@ConanOBrien 2015)

Rule for Reference list

Author’s Surname, Author’s Given Name (Author’s Screen Name). Year Posted. The First 160 Characters of the Post (or nearest phrase if longer). Name of the Social Media Service. Date Posted Including the Year. URL.

Example of Reference list entry

O’Brien, Conan (@ConanOBrien). 2015. “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets,” Twitter. April 22, 2015. https://twitter.com/ConanOBrien/status/590940792967016448.

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