Los Angeles Valley College LibraryLos Angeles Valley College
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Valley Glen, California, 91401-4096
Phone: 818-947-2425
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How to Cite From Electronic Resources

Books and Internet Resources

Gibaldi, Joseph

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing,  2nd edition, section 6.9

ReferenceDesk PN147.G444 1998  



Walker, Janice R.

Columbia Guide to Style

PN 171.F56 1998 (Reserve Book Room, 2 hour loan)


Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources - http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/citex.html

Based on a book published in 1998. The site presents guidelines  from the Modern Language Association (MLA), the American Psychological Association (APA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the Council of Biology Editors (CBE), with examples for citing and  documenting World Wide Web sites, e-mail messages, Web discussion forum postings, listserv and newsgroup messages, real-time communications (MOOs, MUDs, IRCs), telnet sites, FTP sites, gopher sites, and linkage data are provided. There are related links to other style conventions and an excellent FAQ. The book is written by  Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger.


A.   Periodical/Journal articles retrieved from a database.  Defined as:

·         Type of publication:  A formal document, i.e., an online journal, newsletter, government document or book. It is not simply a Web page.

·         Access:  Retrieved from a proprietary* database.  The article itself usually does not have a URL (universal resource locator) by which it can be directly accessed.

*    A proprietary database is the term used for journal and document indexes.  These commercial subscription services typically provide indexing, abstracts, and text for journal articles. DO NOT confuse the database (content) with the company that provides it (computer service) or the search interface (software) used to access the database.

There are several elements to add to the standard bibliographic reference, depending on whether you use MLA or APA form:

1.        The name of the search service (InfoTrac) and the particular database you used. Valley College Library subscribes to “Expanded Academic ASAP,”  “General Reference Center,” “National Newspaper Index,” and “SIRS  Researcher(R).”

2.        The name of the company: Galegroup.


** Articles  retrieved from an electronic database may not have the same pagination as the original journal articles. They must be cited by paragraph number.


*** Provide the URL only if it will be of utility to the reader of the citation, i.e., if the reader can use that URL to actually retrieve the document.


Example for journal articles retrieved from a proprietary database.  Articles have a printed version.

Jordan, June. : “Breast Cancer: Still Here.” The Progressive v63 #2. Feb 1999: 17. InfoTrac: Expanded Academic ASAP. Galegroup. (1 Oct. 1999.)


B.  For an Internet Site.


·         author's name (if known)

·         full title of the document in quotation marks

·         title of the complete work if applicable in italics

·         date of publication or last revision (if available)

·         full http address (URL) enclosed within angle brackets

·         date of visit in parentheses

Example for a Web citation:

Rippel, Chris. "Internet Cites." 5 April 1998: n. pag. Central Kansas Library System <http://skyways.lib.ks.us/kansas/central/post/tutorials/citation>.  (4  Oct. 1999)

C.  Email, Listserv, and Newsgroup citations


revised 09/10 by Dana Lubow

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