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This document focuses on why and how electronic sources must be cited so that students can avoid plagiarism. Because students now routinely use readily available electronic sources for their papers, they must learn how to properly cite them. You will have more complete coverage of plagiarism issues if you use this document in conjunction with the more general Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism, which includes an exercise in how to paraphrase, and The Template for Taking Notes on Research Papers, both of which are found in the Cain Project resources. Do not consider these documents to be legal advice: The author is not an attorney.

Basic information

  • The copyright protections associated with print also govern the use of audio, video, images, and text on the World Wide Web (WWW).
  • If a document is on the WWW, that DOES NOT mean that it is in the public domain and may be used with no restrictions.
  • A document on the WWW may be copyrighted even if it does not explicitly state that it is copyrighted. Assume that a work is copyrighted unless the site explicitly authorizes use.
  • The same copyright protections exist for the author of a work regardless of whether the work is in a database, CD, discussion board, blog, or web page.
  • Cite a visual used in the text at the end of the Figure or Table caption: ( Ozymandias 2005 ) just as you would cite text in a paragraph. If you use only part of a visual or change it, cite it as ( Adapted from Ozymandias 2005 ).
  • Put all electronic citations in your Bibliography or Works Cited.

Tips on using internet resources

  • ALWAYS credit the source of your information.
  • Check to see if the author provides information on how his/her work (e.g., video, audio, graphic, icon, web page) may be used. Make sure to follow the guidelines, if they exist.
  • If possible, ask the owner of the copyright for permission to use the work. Because all authors of a single document have equal copyright protection, it is necessary to get permission from only one. The corresponding author of a paper should be your first choice. Keep a paper copy of your request for permission and of the permission received.
  • If you use one of your own published articles in your thesis, you don’t need permission from the other authors, all of whom have equal copyright rights. Clearly state the source, however, and recognize the contributions of the other authors. Most journals will give you permission to use your published paper in your thesis, but check the contract!
  • If you post a chapter from your unfinished thesis or a paper you plan to submit for publication, it is considered published and copyrighted by the act of placing it on the Internet. A journal then cannot accept it for publication because it has already been published. To avoid this copyright disaster, clearly label the posted material as DRAFT and make certain that it differs from what you later submit as finished thesis or paper for publication.

Guidelines for citing electronic media

Check with the journal, your advisor, or your professor to determine what style is required. The APA style guide and the Chicago Manual of Style are commonly used, but some journals have their own style sheets. If you are submitting for publication outside the U.S., style expectations will differ. Preferred style may differ from field to field, as well. If you have kept accurate and complete notes on what you read, you’ll be able to meet any requirements.

What to include (if available)

  • Name of the author, editor, compiler, or translator of the document or graphic. Last name, First initial. (Make this complete enough so that you can do an electronic search for it. Sometimes last name and first initial are not sufficient, as in “Jones, J.”)
  • Date of document’s publication or last update on the Web site. If the publication date is not known, use n.d. to indicate “no date” (n.d.).
  • Title of the document, graphic, or the Web Site.
  • Publication information--the name of the main Web Site where the document or graphic is posted.
  • Page number range or total number of pages or other sections, if they are numbered.
  • Date accessed and location of the material on that date: Month, day, year; URL.
  • Keep a paper copy to prove the date accessed to protect yourself if it disappears from the Web.
  • If you download an article published as print, you may cite it as a printed source. If you cite an article in an electronic journal, you must cite it as a Web source.

Examples of citation in a bibliography or works cited

Notice that the same basic information is included in the three entries for journal articles, although the styles differ. Choose the style appropriate for what you are writing, and then be consistent within the document. You must follow a style guide.

If the Bibliography is set up numerically rather than alphabetically, as would happen when references are numbered consecutively within a text, the entries would be numbered and the authors’ names would all be first name first, as in [1] Christopher Beattie, Mark Embree, etc .

Beattie, Christopher, Mark Embree, and D. C. Sorensen. Convergence of Polynomial Restart Krylov Methods for Eigenvalue Computation. SIAM Rev. , 47 (2005), pp. 492-515. [Journal style]

Chen, J. Y., A. Kutana, C. P. Collier, and K.P. Giapis. Electrowetting in Carbon Nanotubes. Science 310 , 1480-1483 (2005). [Journal style]

Hacker, Diana. (2006). The Bedford Handbook . Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. [APA style]

Nicolo, Micah J., Gerald R. Dickens, Christopher J. Hollis, and James C. Zachos. “Multiple early Eocene hyperthermals: Their sedimentary expression on the New Zealand continental margin and in the deep sea,” Geology 35, no. 8 (2007): 699-702. [Chicago style]

Electronic sources

Herbst, Roy S., M.D., PhD., and Scott M. Lippman, M.D. Molecular Signatures of Lung Cancer—Toward Personalized Therapy. New England Journal of Medicine 356 , no. 1 (January 4, 2007): 76-78. Retrieved April 18, 2007 from (External Link)

Ortiz-Barrientos, D. and M. A. F. Noor. Evidence for a One-Allele Assortative Mating Locus.” Science 310, no. 5753 (2005): 1467. Retrieved September 1, 2007 from (External Link)

Provenzo, Eugene F. Jr. “Time Exposure.” Educational Studies 34, no. 2 (2003): 266-67. Retrieved September 11, 2007 from (External Link)

Additional resources

See (External Link) (Gives information about copyright laws.)

Visit (External Link) (Extensive examples of how to cite journal articles in APA format, the form used by many fields.)

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Plagiarism and scientific writing. OpenStax CNX. Nov 16, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10604/1.1
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