But websites change, and the address you used won’t always be active when your reader tries to view a source. See How to Copy and Paste but Not Plagiarize for advice about how to use electronic sources wisely.For that reason, it’s important to include both the date you accessed the site and also a full account of the person, group, or organization that sponsors the site. Most of this guide focuses on helping you subordinate sources to your own ideas.Although the following categories overlap, they may help you decide when more care is warranted to avoid an invasion of privacy.
Some professors will discourage you from using sources you find or access over the Internet.
Although such restrictions may be excessive, there are reasons to be wary.
Knowing more about the author helps readers to assess the source and also, sometimes, to find the source when the website has been moved or revised. In general, we highlight your need to respect authors’ rights, explaining how to give people credit for their ideas while distinguishing your own original contributions.
The general form of a citation from an Internet source is: Author’s name. But the ease of using electronic sources also raises dangers about what might be called rights, leading you to make public words that the original author intended only as private communication.
It’s much easier to publish information on the Internet than to publish a book or periodical in print.
Since it’s easier, Web posters are not always as careful to make sure that the information is accurate.After finding a website that seems useful and tracking down the author’s name, you may need additional research (perhaps using Google) to learn whether the author has any claim to credibility.But of course, countless reliable sources can be accessed on the web, and even unreliable sources have some uses in research writing. Popular Sources for more about unreliable sources.) These days, many students and scholars use Web sources extensively in research and teaching.If the site creator’s name is listed, it’s still sometimes hard to tell whether the information has been reprinted from some other source.If you reach a website through a search engine, you may have to find the site’s homepage or search around in the “contact” information in order to identify the author or the organization that sponsors the site.Some organizations, while established leaders in their fields, have very few resources available to maintain and update their websites.