5. Web documents, websites and other electronic media

In this chapter:  
Website home page Web document
Web page Wiki

The goals of a citation to an online source are to credit the author/creator and to enable the reader to find the material.

When citing Internet sources, observe the following guidelines:

  • Follow previous sections for format of who (author), when (date) and what (title) elements.
  • For the ‘where’ element, direct readers as closely as possible to the information; whenever possible, reference specific documents rather than the home or menu pages.
  • The author of a website is usually the person or organisation responsible for the site.
  • When referring to an item located within a subscription site, use the home page URL.
  • A viewed date statement (e.g. viewed 27 July 2019, <URL>) is required in addition to the location and name of the publisher.
  • When the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material, rather than to the material itself (i.e. when using a root URL for a subscription site), use ‘viewed Day Month Year, <root URL>.’
  • If the source undergoes regular revision, the date for the most recent update should be used.
  • It is often appropriate to include additional information after the title of the work (similar to including an edition number for a book). Sometimes this is included as part of the title (e.g. a report number).
  • The medium or format can be entered after the title, separated by a comma.
  • When using direct quotes for sources without page numbers, use the paragraph number, if possible, preceded by the abbreviation ‘para.’ (e.g. Broome & Davies, 1999, para. 5).

When you are referring to specific information from a web page or web document within the text of an assignment, you must provide an author-date citation.

  • If you are mentioning the website in passing, (e.g. Comprehensive information about the University can be found at www.unisq.edu.au), you do not need to include an entry in the reference list. Include the URL of the home page of the website in-text, rather than the usual author-date component.
  • If you are citing specific information, create a reference following the guidelines for how to cite and reference a web page or web document.
  • If you cite information from more than one page within the same website, you will need to create a separate item in your reference list for each.
  • Web addresses can be given directly in the text using angle brackets (<>) to help direct readers to a website. They are not to be used as a substitute for in-text citations in the author-date format. Angle brackets (<>) are placed around the web address to isolate the URL from any surrounding sentence punctuation.

a) Mentioning website in passing

b) Mentioning specific information available on the home page



a) Comprehensive information about the University can be found at <www.unisq.edu.au>.

b) University of Southern Queensland offers flexible study options (UniSQ 2023).


Author Surname/Organisation, Initial Year, Title of website, Company/Sponsor Name, Company/Sponsor Location, viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.


a) No entry in the reference list

b) University of Southern Queensland 2023, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, viewed 9 September 2023, <www.unisq.edu.au>.

  • Use this example for pages within a website

(Author/Organisation Year)


…a marketing strategy illustrated by the company’s website (The Body Shop Australia 2018).


Author Surname or Organisation, Author Initial Year, Title of webpage, Company/Sponsor Name, C/S Location, viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.


The Body Shop Australia 2018, Corporate social responsibility, The Body Shop Australia, Mulgrave, Victoria, viewed 30 April 2018, <https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-au/about-us/our-commitment/corporate-social-responsibility>.

  • To cite a document from a Web site within the text of an assignment, provide the name of the author, editor, or compiler and the date on which the document was created or last revised.

(Author Year, p. Page No.)


CASA’s approval resulted in… (Anderson 2000).


Author Surname, Author Initial Year, Title, Version No., Description of Document, Company/Sponsor Name, C/S Location, viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.


Anderson, J (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) 2000, CASA approves avgas contamination test, media release, 23 January, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra, viewed 7 February 2000, <http://www.dotrs.gov.au/media//2000/jan_00/al6_2000.htm>.


(Title of Wiki Year)


The contingencies included… (Quantitative Archaeology Wiki 2007, para. 2).


Title of Wiki Year (of article), ‘Article title’, format, Day Month (of article), viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.


Quantitative Archaeology Wiki 2007, ‘Contingency tables’, wiki article, 26 March, viewed 17 September 2008, <http://wiki.iosa.it/dokuwiki/contingency_tables>.


USQ Harvard AGPS Referencing Guide Copyright © by University of Southern Queensland. All Rights Reserved.

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