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.), i.e. 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 mentioning an entire website in general give the URL in parentheses (no in-text citation or reference list entry is required) e.g. We created our references using the APA Style (https://apastyle.org).
  • 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 

Department of Health and Human Services. (2018, March 27). Guide for community and not-for-profit groups: Cake stalls. health.vic. 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. (YYYY, Month DD). Title of work. Site Name. https://xxxxxx

Examples

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

Monash University. (2021). A proud history. https://www.monash.edu/about/who/history

  • 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 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). Site Name. 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.
  • Omit the site name when it is the same as the author.
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

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) . . .