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Website Reference Main Elements

Overview:  This page covers general websites, social media, government reports, and other online documents. See also our Other Sources page, which covers more unusual content you may find online.

Example of APA citation of a website

New to this Guide? Key Questions:

How do I include organisations as authors?

What kind of locator information (URL) should I use?

How do I reference different types of web materials such as...
• Social media
• Powerpoint presentations
• PDF documents
• Government reports

Click on the links below to learn more about:

Author(s) | Date | Title of Document | Format Type | URL


Multiple authors: Author rules for web resources are the same as for books and journals. 

Groups as authors: If a company, institution, government body, religious organisation or other type of organisation is the author, use the organisation’s name as the author. If the organisation’s name is commonly abbreviated, use the full name in the first reference together with the abbreviation. In subsequent references, only the abbreviated form should be used.

Screen names: If a screen name (alias) is used instead of a formal name, use the screen name provided (e.g. WanderingPsych82).

No author: If there is no author listed, put the title of the document in place of the author (note: always question the validity of web resources that have no author). Use first few words of the title for the in-text citation, enclosed in quote marks, and the year.


If content is published regularly (for example,social media posts) provide the full date. If not, provide the year only. If there is no date, include the abbreviation (n.d.).

Title of Document

Titles of all web resources should be in sentence case (only the first word of the title and the first word of any subtitle capitalised).
Generally, webpage titles (e.g. most HTML pages) are not italicised.
However, titles of "standalone" documents (e.g. PDF, Word, PowerPoint, or other document formats ) on a website are italicised. Standalone documents in this context are resources that do not fall into "regular" categories, including reports, presentations, white papers and other grey literature.

Format Type

Describe the format type in square brackets for certain formats, according to the examples listed above, e.g. [Tweet], [Blog post]


Include a retrieval statement and the full URL of the web resource.