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 15 – 20 of our APA referencing guide.
In the reference list
Here are a few examples:
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).
Royal College of Nursing. (n.d.). Principles of nursing practice. Retrieved June 7, 2017, from https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/principles-of-nursing-practice
This reference links to the PDF version of the code which has a published date, therefore it does not need a date of retrieval.
Nursing & Midwifery Council. (2015). The code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/nmc-publications/revised-new-nmc-code.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.
According to the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015, p. 5) a nurse must “recognise and respond compassionately to the needs of those who are in the last few days and hours of life.”
According to the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) a nurse must “recognise and respond compassionately to the needs of those who are in the last few days and hours of life” (p. 5).
A nurse must “recognise and respond compassionately to the needs of those who are in the last few days and hours of life” (Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), 2015, p.5).
Because you explained the acronym in the first citation you can now just use the acronym on any subsequent citations in text.
A nurse must “respect that a person’s right to privacy and confidentiality continues after they have died” (NMC, 2015, p. 6).
The NMC (2015) state that a nurse must “respect that a person’s right to privacy and confidentiality continues after they have died” (p. 6).
Got a question? Just ask us using the Ask a Librarian Live Chat button, using the comments section in the blog or via twitter using #su5dor – Tomorrow we’ll look at formatting your reference list.