Citing Online Sources

Basic Guidance on Citing Online Sources

If the material is available in print and online forms, a reference to the print form is preferable (under the rationale that print sources are less likely to change than online sources), or you may want to give both sources.

The goals of citing online references are the same as for any citations: (1) credit the author and (2) enable the reader to find the material.

The citation should be as close as possible to the styles we use for print forms. Basically, give

  • author (if there is one),
  • title,
  • any other information (such as journal or book title or web page),
  • a date (for a bibliography/reference list, the date follows the author or, if no author, the title; for a footnote/source note, it follows the publisher inside the parentheses), and
  • the path to find the material.

Be sure to check that the path you give works.

For more information about citing online sources, see CMS 15.50–15.52 and the CMS-style citation quick guide.

Formatting Online Sources


Put the URL at the end of the main citation, preceded by a period.

Note: For website addresses cited in print, do not include “http://” in the address if it is followed by “www.” and the address works without “http://”.

Bibliography or reference list style

Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Company. 1999. “Domini 400 Social Index Changes.”

Womack, Kent L. 2002. “The Sell-Side Research Problem.” Working paper.

Boni, Leslie, and Kent L. Womack. 2002. “Solving the Sell-Side Research Problem: Insights from Buy-Side Professionals.” Working paper, University of New Mexico and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Ryan, Ron. 200. “Pension Alert!” Ryan Research (December).

Source line and footnote style

J. W. Jacobson, J. A. Mulick, and A. A. Schwartz, “A History of Facilitated Communication: Science, Pseudoscience, and Antiscience: Science Working Group on Facilitated Communication,” American Psychologist, vol. 50 (1995): 750–765.

“Investing in International Small Company Stocks,” Institute for Fiduciary Education.

Robert D. Arnott, “Implications for Asset Allocation, Portfolio Management, and Future Research I” in Equity Risk Premium Forum, AIMR and TIAA-CREF.

Peter Bern, “Managing Active Tilts,” Arrowstreet Journal (Winter 2002)

Ron Ryan, “Pension Alert!” Ryan Research (December 2001).