5 Days of Referencing: Day 3. Websites and online documents

Remember what we said on day 1? The key to referencing well in an assignment is firstly to use good reliable sources.  Make sure you evaluate anything you find online using the WWWW method:

Who – Who wrote the information?
Why – 
Why is this information there (Is there a bias?)
When – When was it published (is it current enough?)
Where – 
Where is it from (clues in the URL ie: .com, .ac.uk)

The main sections you need to make a note of in order to reference a website or online document correctly are:

  • Author(s) (personal or corporate)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of website/document
  • Date of retrieval (only needed if the source is likely to be updated)
  • Direct working URL

Very often some bits of information will not be available with online documents; a common one is no date – in this case you can do the following:

  • No date? – use (n.d.) instead

You can find further advice on pages 19 – 21 of our APA referencing guide.

In the reference list
Here are a few examples:

Websites
You only need to include a date of retrieval in the reference list if you think a website maybe updated (it’s difficult to know this sometimes).

Tesco PLC. (n.d.). Our businesses. Retrieved March 10, 2017,                   from https://www.tescoplc.com/about-us/our-businesses/.

Online publication
This reference links to the PDF version of the code which has a published date, therefore it does not need a date of retrieval.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2016). Annual report and accounts 2015-16. Retrieved from https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/annual-report-2015-16_tcm18-16632.pdf.

 In text citation
A good tip if you are going to use the same citation a few times in your assignment is to use acronyms.  You must explain the acronym in full the first time you use it, followed by the acronym so it is clear to your lecturer what is stands for.

First citation:
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, 2016, p.18) a “healthy, happy and engaged workforce is an important indicator of our success”.

Or

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, 2016) a “healthy, happy and engaged workforce is an important indicator of our success” (p.18).

Or

A “healthy, happy and engaged workforce is an important indicator of our success” (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 2016, p.18).

Second citation
Because you explained the acronym in the first citation you can now just use the acronym on any subsequent citations in text.

Engagement in ongoing training and development is “the key to a successful career” (CIPD, 2016, p.18).

Or

The CIPD (2016) state that employees should engage in ongoing training and development as it is “the key to a successful career” (p.18).

Questions?

If you have any questions so far let us know using the comments section in the blog or via twitter using #su5dor. You can also email buslib@swansea.ac.uk.

 

Tomorrow we’ll look at formatting your reference list.

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