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).

Formatting Source Line and Footnote

Source lines in tables and figures follow footnote style. Footnote style basically differs from reference/bibliography style as follows:

  • First name of first author comes first.
  • Commas are used for most periods.
  • Years are given in the parentheses just before page numbers.

Use the following formats for the first mention of a work:


Tom Copeland, Tim Koller, and Jack Murrin, Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, 2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996).

Philip Hans Franses, Time Series Models for Business and Economic Forecasting (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Forthcoming book

Martin S. Fridson and Fernando Alvarez, Financial Statement Analysis: A Practitioner’s Guide, 3rd ed. (New York: John Wiley & Sons: forthcoming 2002).

Part of book

William Jones, “Introduction,” in Problems in Industrial Development, edited by John Dune, 1–2 (Chicago: Universal Press, 1885).

Part of CFA Institute book

Michael Philips, “New Directions,” in The Future of Portfolios, 15–23(Charlottesville, VA: Association for Investment Management and Research, 1999).

Corporate author (book)

Ibbotson Associates, Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation: 2004 Yearbook (Chicago: Ibbotson Associates, 2004).

ABI, Investing in Social Responsibility: Risks and Opportunities, ABI Research Report. London: Association of British Insurers.

Corporate author (pamphlet)

Standard & Poor’s, “Identifying Ratings Triggers and Other Contingent Calls on Liquidity—Part 2” (15 May 2002).

NIRI, “NIRI Releases Survey: An Analysis of Corporate Use of Pro Forma Reporting,” press release, National Investor Relations Institute (17 January 2002).

Corporate newsletter (with author)

Solomon B. Samson, “Identifying Ratings Triggers and Other Contingent Calls on Liquidity—Part 2,” Standard & Poor’s (15 May 2002).

Forthcoming paper

Thomas K. Philips, “The Source of Value,” Journal of Portfolio Management (forthcoming).

Government/legal publications

“Order Execution Obligations,” Exchange Act Release 37619 (6 September 1996).


Chuck Auerbach, “Time and Tide Wait for No Man,” Impatience 1 (Spring 1992): 224–26.

Robert C. Merton, “An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model,” Econometrica 41 (September 1973): 867–87.

Richard Bookstaber and David P. Jacob, “The Composite Hedge,” Financial Analysts Journal 42 (March/April 1986): 25–36.

[Note: This form is appropriate if short-hand style is being used.]

Chuck Auerbach, “Time and Tide Wait for No Man,” Impatience (Spring 1992): 224–26.

Andrew Tobias, “How to Invest in Uncertain Times,” Parade (18 February 2001).

No author

“The 300 Best Small Companies,” Forbes Global (30 October 2000).


Ben Stein, “Can We Win?” Presentation given at the CFA Institute Improving Portfolio Performance conference, Chicago (30 November–1 December 2000).

Scott McNally, Java One Conferences, Valley Hills, CA (17 June 1999).

Reprinted material

Martin L. Leibowitz, “Total Portfolio Duration: A New Perspective on Asset Allocation,” Financial Analysts Journal 42 (September/October 1986): 18–29, 77; reprinted in 1995.

If the later date is important because page numbers are given in the text reference (e.g., for a quotation), use:

Martin L. Leibowitz, “Total Portfolio Duration: A New Perspective on Asset Allocation.” Financial Analysts Journal 51 (January/February 1995 50th Anniversary Issue): 139–41; first published 1986.

Unpublished papers (working papers, mimeos, dissertations, and other unpublished manuscripts)

John Doe, “Statistics for Dummies,” mimeo (University of Dogpatch, 1995).

Hersh Shefrin and Meir Statman, “Behavioral Portfolio Theory,” working paper (Santa Clara University, 1994).

Jon Simple, “Firm Management,” Working Paper 100, New York University (1999).

For subsequent references to a work in source lines and footnotes, use the author’s last name and the short title: Auerbach, “Time and Tide.” If no author, use short title: e.g., “The 300 Best Small Companies.”

Short Citations

In some publications, you may need to use short in-line reference information to avoid the separate notes or references section for space reasons. For a book, provide in parentheses basic information that is not given in the sentence. For example, if the authors only are cited, give the title, publisher, and date in parentheses. If the authors and title are cited, give the publisher and date in parentheses. For a journal article, basic information that needs to be either cited in the sentence or given in the parentheses consists of author, title, name of journal, and year of publication.

Formatting Bibliography or Reference List


One author:

Pack, Howard. 1987. Productivity, Technology and Industrial Development, 5th ed. London: Oxford University Press.

———. (For consecutive entries by the same author, use a 3-em dash closed up with the period). 1989. [In the Word file, the names will be repeated, but Typesetting should correct to the 3-em dash.]


Fabozzi, Frank J., ed. 1992. Investing: The Collected Works of Martin L. Leibowitz. Chicago: Probus.

More than one author:

Bodie, Zvi, Alex Kane, and Alan J. Marcus. 1993. Investments, 2nd ed. Boston: Irwin.

Part of a book:

Jones, William. 1885. “Introduction.” In Problems in Industrial Development, edited by John Dune, 1–2. Chicago: Universal Press.

Part of a CFA Institute book:

[Note: Proceedings beginning March 2006 are considered journals.]

(With a named editor)

Kiefer, Leslie S. 2000. “Building a Client’s Risk Profile: Working with Clients to Identify Risk.” In Investment Counseling for Private Clients II, edited by Dorothy C. Kelly. Charlottesville, VA: Association for Investment Management and Research.

(With an unknown editor)

Dynkin, Lev. 2000. “Global Bond Benchmarks.” In Global Bond Management II: The Search for Alpha. Charlottesville, VA: Association for Investment Management and Research.

(Conference Proceedings format)

Lucas, Douglas. 2006. “The Evolving CDO Market.” CFA Institute Conference Proceedings Quarterly 23 (2): 42–52.

CFA Institute book (with no author cited):

Risk Management: Principles and Practices. 1999. Charlottesville, VA: Association for Investment Management and Research.

(Note: Use the same style for Standards of Practice handbooks, GIPS publications, etc. CFA Institute is not the author of such publications; it is the publisher.)

CFA Institute/Research Foundation book (with authors cited):

Altman, Edward I., and Duen-Li Kao. 1991. Corporate Bond Rating Drift: An Examination of Rating Agency Credit Quality Changes. Charlottesville, VA: Research Foundation of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.

Fabozzi, Frank J., Sergio M. Focardi, and Petter N. Kolm. 2006. Trends in Quantitative Finance. Charlottesville, VA: Research Foundation of CFA Institute.

Corporate Author


Ibbotson Associates. 2004. Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation: 2004 Yearbook. Chicago: Ibbotson Associates.

ABI. 2001. Investing in Social Responsibility: Risks and Opportunities. ABI Research Reports. London: Association of British Insurers.

Pamphlet, flyer, etc.

Standard & Poor’s. 2002. “Identifying Ratings Triggers and Other Contingent Calls on Liquidity—Part 2” (15 May).

NIRI. 2002. “NIRI Releases Survey: An Analysis of Corporate Use of Pro Forma Reporting,” Press release, National Investor Relations Institute (17 January).


World Bank. 2014. “The World Bank Annual Report.”

Financial Analysts Journal Book Review

Granito, Michael R. 1999. “Efficient Asset Management: A Practical Guide to Stock Portfolio Optimization and Asset Allocation” (a review). Financial Analysts Journal 55 (3): 101–02.

Forthcoming Papers

Forthcoming journal (date/volume/issue known):

Miller, Stan. Forthcoming 2008. “Derivatives.” Journal of Finance 87 (1).

Forthcoming book (date known):

Marcus, Jules. Forthcoming 2008. Listening to Market Prices. Traverse City, MI: Bay Lake Books.

Forthcoming journal (date unknown):

Frank, Jay Thomas. Forthcoming. “Understanding Futures: A Layman’s Guide.” Journal of Investing.

Forthcoming book (date unknown):

Hughes, John. Forthcoming. Modern Portfolio Theory. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.

Occasional papers/papers in a series:

Lakonishok, J., A. Shleifer, and R. Vishny. 1992. “The Structure and Performance of the Money Management Industry.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Microeconomics 1992: 339–91.


Note: When “no.” consists of two numbers, use “no.” and an en dash: “no. 1–3.” Online, the en dash here (and in page numbers) appears as a hyphen.

Ferris, S., and D. Chance. 1987. “The Effect of 12b-1 Plans on Mutual Fund Expense Ratios: A Note.” Journal of Finance 42 (4): 1077–82.

Slovic, Paul. 1967. “The Relative Influence of Probabilities and Payoffs upon Perceived Risk of a Gamble.” Psychonomic Science 9 (4): 223–24.

Smith, Fred. 1978. “Troubles and Their Solutions.” Journal of Solutions 11 (6–11): 106, 153–63.

Auerbach, Chuck. 1992. “Time and Tide Wait for No Man.” Impatience (Spring): 224–26.

Journal with No Author Cited

“A Guide to Mutual Funds.” 1985. Consumer Reports (July): 390–95.

“Giving TQM a Try.” 1995. Institutional Investor 33 (3): 31–34.


Sharpe, William F. 1979. “Evolution of Modern Portfolio Theory.” Based on Sharpe’s talk on 18 June at Wells Fargo Bank.

Newspaper Article

[Note: Use the international date style.]

With author’s name:

Gilpin, K. 1995. “Big Investor Talked, Grace Listened.” New York Times (11 April): C1.

Without author’s name:

“Wall Street Splits on How to Cope with Falling Bonds.” 1996. Wall Street Journal (10 May): C1.

Paper Presented at a Conference

Frantzich, Steven. 1990. “Legislatures and the Revolution in Communications and Information Processing: Untangling the Link between Technology and Politics.” Paper presented at annual meeting of American Political Science Association, San Francisco (August).

Reprinted Material

Leibowitz, Martin L. (1986) 1995. “Total Portfolio Duration: A New Perspective on Asset Allocation.” Financial Analysts Journal 42 (5):18–29, 77. Citation refers to original publication.

Note: If the later date is important because page numbers are given in the text reference (e.g., for a quotation), use:

Leibowitz, Martin L. 1995. “Total Portfolio Duration: A New Perspective on Asset Allocation.” Financial Analysts Journal 51 (1): 139–41. First published 1986.

Research Report

Bederman, Earl. 1994. “The Next Decade: The Outlook for Retail Services in Canada.” Research report, Investor Economics: 68.

Unpublished Papers

Working papers, mimeos, dissertations, and other unpublished manuscripts are separated from their location by a comma and their identifications have only an initial cap unless the paper has a number or other specific designation indicating that it has a formal place in a series:

Working paper with no number and not in a series

Doe, John. 1995. “Economics for Dummies.” Working paper, University of Tennessee (June). Available at <URL>.

Working paper that is part of a series

Poterba, J., S. Venti, and D. Wise. 1992. “401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Saving.” NBER Working Paper 4181 (October).

Doe, John. 1995. “Statistics for Dummies.” Working Paper 100, University of Dogpatch Economic Studies Series (April).

Mimeo with no number and not in a series

Seguin, P. 1991. “Transactions Reporting, Liquidity and Volatility: An Empirical Investigation of National Market System Listing.” Mimeo, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Caudill, G. R. 1966. “The Correlation of Theory and Practice in the New Stagecraft Movement as Observed in the Theories and Practices of Robert Edmund Jones and Lee Simonson.” Unpublished master’s thesis, Kent State University.

Bibliography or Reference List

1: Acronyms

Spell out acronyms in the references list, including AIMR.

        Example: Brown, M. J. 2005. Location, Location, Location. Washington, DC: National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Incorrect: Brown, M. J. 2005. Location, Location, Location. Washington, DC: NAREIT.

Example: Dynkin, Lev. 2000. “Global Bond Benchmarks.” In Global Bond Management II: The Search for Alpha. Charlottesville, VA: Association for Investment Management and Research.

EXCEPTION: Because NBER is so well known, it is OK to use NBER and not spell out in the reference list.

         Example: Campbell, John Y., and Robert J. Shiller. 2001. “Valuation Ratios and the Long-Run Stock Market Outlook: An Update.” NBER Working Paper 8221 (April).

2: Capitalization

In editing references, we follow our own styles for capitalization to be consistent within our own publications. We would generally not make other changes. For example, we wouldn’t change a slash to an em or en dash. We might change a hyphen to an en or em dash, however, if we were sure the change was correct.

3: Location

We add the two-letter state abbreviation if the city of publication is in the United States and is not on the AP list. For New York City, the form is “New York,” not “New York City” and not “New York, NY.” When state abbreviations are used, use the US Post Office two-letter abbreviations; that is, use “VA” rather than “Va.”, “Washington, DC” rather than “D.C.” (For a list of postal abbreviations for US states, see the official US Postal Service list.)

Similarly, non-US cities on the AP list do not need a country (e.g., “Paris.” But “Limoges, France”).

For cities in the United Kingdom, use UK. Spell out other country names.

Examples: Oakland, CA; Macon, GA; Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Homewood, IL; London; Oxford, UK; Berlin.

Make sure you find out whether “Cambridge” is Massachusetts or the United Kingdom.

Note: If the state or country name is given in the publisher’s name, do not repeat it (e.g., Berkeley: University of California Press; NOT Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.)

4: Multiple Works with Multiple Authors

In a list of references, if one author has published multiple works with multiple authors, order alphabetically by second author’s surname, as in the examples below:

Burt, Ronald S. 1992. Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

———. 1997. “The Contingent Value of Social Capital.” Administrative Science Quarterly 42 (1): 339–66.

Burt, Ronald S., Miguel Guilarte, Holly J. Raider, and Yuki Yasuda. 2002. “Competition, Contingency, and the External Structure of Markets.” Advances in Strategic Management 19 (2): 167–217.

Burt, Ronald S., Robin M. Hogarth, and Claude Michaud. 2000. “The Social Capital of French and American Managers.” Organization Science 11 (4): 123–47.

Burt, Ronald S., and Don Ronchi. 2007. “Teaching Executives How to See Social Capital: Results from a Field Experiment.” Social Science Research 27 (8): 1156–80.

5: Page Numbers

Do not use commas in page numbers.

6: Specific Rules for Bibliographies and Reference Lists

  • In a footnote or reference list entry, if the title of an article ends in a punctuation mark (such as a question mark or exclamation point), do not add another punctuation mark before or after the quotation marks.
  • If the edition is other than the first, put the edition just before the place. Use numerals and abbreviate “edition” to “ed.”—e.g., 2nd ed.
    Example: Bernstein, Peter. 1992. Capital Ideas: The Improbable Progress of Wall Street, 2nd ed. New York: Free Press.
  • If several works by the same author(s) are listed, they are listed chronologically beginning with the earliest published work. If the years are the same, use the title that is earliest in the alphabet and use [year]a, [year]b:
    Jones, Edgar A. 2000a “Life Is Hard on Wall Street.” …
    ______. 2000b. “Wild Bets in the Bond Market.” …
  • Omit the “The” in a reference list or footnote citations of journals and newspapers and use a lowercase roman “the” in text.
    Examples: I read an article in the March issue of the Journal of Business. I saw the abstract in the CFA Digest this month.
    Jones, Lureen. “A Million Bucks in Your Pocket.” Journal of Business 6 (1): 22–28.
  • Use short names of publishers (and no “Inc.,” Company”, Co.,” etc.).
    Examples: Irwin; JAI Press, University of California Press
  • When author last names contain an article (such as “de” and “van”), they should be lowercase if they are lowercase when the full name is given.
    Example in text: Author Johann de Villiers wrote…
    Example in bibliography: de Villiers, Johann. “A Million Bucks in Your Pocket.” Journal of Business 6 (1): 22–28.

Text Referencing

1: Footnote Citations

When footnotes are used, insert call-out numbers and follow footnote styles. Close up the tiny space between the footnote number and the text in a footnote. Examples of footnote styles are given later.

2: Author/Date Citations with a Bibliography or Reference List

When a publication includes a bibliography or reference list, use the author/date citation system in the text. An alphabetized reference list is placed at the end of the piece. Please do include a “p.” before page numbers; this is a departure from CMS.

Examples: The information may be found in Pack (1987); the information is spurious (see Pack 1987).

“Even a dart-throwing chimpanzee can select a portfolio that performs as well as one carefully selected by the experts” (Malkiel 1990, p. 186).

Citing Page Numbers in Text

See CMS 15.23 for specifics on placement of page, volume, notes, etc. in text citations.

For direct quotations, use a page number (preceded by “p.”) if you can get one from the author or find it yourself. For legal reasons, try hard to use a page number if the quote is long and substantive. (See the following EXCEPTION.)

When citing the page number for an in-text quotation, place the page number in parentheses outside the quotation mark but before the sentence-ending period.

Example: As Milton Friedman put it, “There’s no free lunch” (p. 5).

If the quotation ends with a question mark, retain the question mark, but still place the sentence-ending period outside the parentheses.

Example: Lou Costello’s biographer wrote that Costello “was well known for asking the question, Who’s on First?” (p. 5).

A quote longer than two manuscript lines (three typeset lines) should be displayed as a block quote. Introductory phrases may be followed by a colon, comma, or period (see CMS 13.20–13.22).


Malkiel (2000, p. 24) makes the subject clear:

A random walk is one in which future steps or directions cannot be predicted on the basis of past actions. When the term is applied to the stock market, it means that short-run changes in stock prices cannot be predicted.

EXCEPTION: For a quote that is simply a short phrase, a page number may not be necessary and may be intrusive. The idea is that you can’t cite a page because the author used the phrase throughout the work cited.

Example: This problem is what Jones (1913) called “the nervous tics of the Gods.”

Electronic Correspondence

References to emails, bulletin board discussions, or discussion groups, like phone conversations or memos, are treated as personal communication and are cited only within the text or a footnote, not on the reference page.

Specific Rules for In-Text References

  •  Generally, we repeat the author and date each time the work is mentioned in the text. EXCEPTION: If one work is referenced several times in a particular paragraph, it is OK to use the author’s name again in the same paragraph (or, more rarely, in the same section) without repeating the date.
  • For references to pieces with two authors, use both authors’ names in every in-text reference. For references to pieces with three, four, or more authors, use all authors’ names on first mention and then use “et al.” subsequently or, if a three- or four-author work is referenced extensively, set up the initials the first time and use those—for example, “DeLong, Shleifer, Summers, and Waldmann (DSSW 1990).”
  • If the first mention of a study appears in the footnotes, set up the use of et al. or initials in the first reference in the main text, not in the footnote reference.
  • To refer to multiple works by the same author or group of authors, for two years at once: “Phillips (1995, 1997)” or “described by several researchers (Phillips 1997a, 1997b; Mullins 1998).” For two works by the same author(s) in the same year: “Phillips (1997a, 1997b).”
  • To refer to multiple works by multiple authors in the text, if the citations are alone in parentheses or introduced by “e.g.,” “i.e.,” “see,” or “see, for example,” the format is to use semicolons between sets of authors: (Jensen 1989; Baghat and Black 1997), (see Jensen 1989; Baker, Jensen, and Murphy 1988; Baghat and Black 1997). Follow the same form for citations in notes/sources even outside parentheses: 1See Jensen (1989); Baker, Jensen, and Murphy (1988); Baghat and Black (1997).
  • To refer to multiple works by multiple authors in prose, use regular sentence construction: “Jensen (1989) and Baghat and Black (1997) explained that . . .”
  • When “forthcoming” is used in an in-text reference, it should look like either “Jones (forthcoming 1999)” or “(Jones, forthcoming 1999).”
  • When referring to notes, chapters, or pages in a reference, use lowercase. When referring to figures/tables/exhibits, use initial cap. See CMS 15.23.

     Examples: Jones said, “. . . .” (1998, 43n4).

Brown and Juarez provides several examples (1999, Table 4).

See Malkiel (1990, chap. 2)

  • When citing an article without an author, use the title or short title under which it is entered in the list.

Examples: (“Wall Street Woes” 2002). (see “Recommendations from the Home . . .” 2006).