US Naval War College Logo
Search
|
Contact Us
|
Alumni
|
Library
|
Site Map
|
Intranet
|
Home
NWC on Facebook NWC on Twitter NWC on Flickr NWC on Blackboard
|
Visitors
|
Foundation
Vol.28, no. 2

Electronic Citation Update

In today’s academic environment the electronic text is as common as the printed source when it comes to working on a research project. Here at the Naval War College it may be nearly impossible to write a paper without using the Internet or an electronic database no matter how hard one tries. Available on the Internet are selected maps, government documents, full text journal articles, world news and technical reports. Scholars use various electronic media for convenience and timeliness and all usually goes well until it is time to cite the sources that have been used. According to Hoemann in his elegant web site Electronic Style…the Final Frontier, the frustration caused by the multiple available style guides will only be compounded by the variety of styles and formats that electronic information can take. It is important to remember the reasons why the writer must take the time to cite sources consulted. First and foremost, citation protects the scholar from the dangers of plagiarism. As Hoemann points out, very little research is done without the help of another’s work and it is correct to give credit to that researcher for that work. The citation also functions as a guide for subsequent readers to access the full text of the material used in the research process.

It is very important for the scholar to choose one style manual and follow those guidelines. Kate L Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, sixth edition, is the recommended style guide at the Naval War College and it addresses electronic documentation. The library owns multiple copies for circulation in the general collection. Occasionally, it is useful to consult style guides placed on the Internet by professors and degree candidates from colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. One excellent site is Citing Electronic Information in History Papers by Maurice Crouse. It gives examples using models of formats rather than attempting to explain how to cite each specific medium. Electronic resources have become so complicated that often multiple types of citations are required for documenting one media type. Citations for several useful Internet style guides are listed in the closing bibliography.

For the purposes of this guide, the citations shown here follow the format for a bibliography. To compare the differences between the format for a bibliography and that of an endnote or footnote, consult page 210 of the sixth edition of the Turabian manual.

Individual Works:

An individual work is any electronic work that will stand on its own as a complete work. It may be an online book or paper, or any computer site that is being cited as a whole rather than as a part. Any entire CD-ROM or database can be cited in this manner also.

Models:

Author or Editor. Title of Work (in italics or underlined) Edition. Date. Available [Type of Medium]: [URL/Protocol/Site/Path/File] Additional: retrieval information [Access date].

or

Author or Editor. Title of Work. (in italics or underlined) Edition. Date. Available [Type of Medium]: Supplier/Database identifier or number/Item name or number [Access date].

Examples:

Hoemann, George H. Electronic Style…the Final Frontier. 14 September 1998. Available [Online] [14 June 1999].

Page, Melvin E. A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities. Version 2.1. 20 February 1996. Available [Online] [15 June 1999].

Note: According to Melvin E. Page in A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities, it has become accepted Internet practice to use pointed brackets before and after the URL or electronic address. This convention has come into use to facilitate clear expression of the electronic address as separate from other text on a printed line. In some integrated software the use of pointed brackets and a correct URL will automatically format a link. In Microsoft Word it is possible to remove the link during the writing process by blocking the formatted link, clicking on the Hyperlink option under the Insert function of the task bar and choosing "remove link."

2. Parts of Works:

Documents that are parts of whole works may include portions of CD-ROMs or sections of larger web sites. These citations are formulated much like chapter citations on pages 196 and 197 of Turabian’s sixth edition.

Models:

Author or Editor. "Title of Part." In Title of Work, edition. Date. Available Protocol [Type of medium]: [Protocol/Site/Path/File] Additional: retrieval information [Access date].

or

Author or Editor. "Title of Part." In Title of Work, edition. Date. Available [Type of Medium]: Supplier/Database identifier or number/Item name or number [Access date].

Examples:

Moran, Daniel. "The Fog of Peace: The Military Dimensions of the Concert of Europe." In Joint Electronic Library. 9 June 1995. Available [Online]: [24 June 1999]

Hoemann, George H. "Electronic Style-Examples By Disciplines," In Electronic Style…the Final Frontier. Updated 14 September 1998. Available [Online]: [21 June 1999].

"Midway." In The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia,version 8.1S. 1996. Available [CD-ROM]: Grolier Electronic Publishing/Multimedia Encyclopedia/Search: Midway [21 June 1999].

Note:
Several of the format models in the preceding sections show a "field" for "Additional: retrieval information." According to Maurice Crouse in his e-mail message dated 24 June 1999, this "field…is intended for those awkward cases where you must do something after you’ve reached the host site." At the Naval War College, passwords and license agreements protect many online databases. Many documents retrieved from these sites have URLs with excessive numbers of characters making the citation process more complicated for the writer. Upon access to the host site, a reader at an institution without license to the site will not gain entrance to the document. In such cases Professor Crouse recommends citing the basic URL for the host site and using the "Additional" field for keywords or search paths required to find the article or like articles in the database. It is recommended that paper or disk copies of those documents be kept for verification should academic advisors require it.

3. Periodicals and Journals:

Many journal articles are available full text on the Internet through journal indexing services such as Proquest Direct. It is very tempting to copy them from the online service and use them for research purposes in the electronic form. The Naval War College Library has in its collection approximately 1,000 periodicals and newspapers titles in print and microform that should not be overlooked in the research process. If a useful article is available in print, it is recommended that the citation be made to the print. When the print version is not available, it is required that all available information pertinent to the print version be included in the citation. These requirements have become standard because most of these databases require licenses and passwords for access and are not available at all universities and research institutions. Giving as much information as possible in the citation insures subsequent readers will be able to retrieve the article or document. As Maurice Crouse points out in Citing Electronic Information in History Papers, electronic information may be slightly modified or even removed from a database by the time a reader tries to find the source of the cited material.

Models:

Author or Editor. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical volume, issue (Date): paging. Available protocol [Type of medium]: Protocol/Site/File Additional: retrieval information [Access date].

or

Author or Editor. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical volume, issue (Date): paging. Available [Type of medium]: Supplier/Database identifier or number/Item name or number [Access date].

Examples:

Caddell, Joe. "America’s Pursuit of Precision Bombing." The Journal of Military History, 62, no.3 (July 1998): 641-642. Available [Online]: Proquest Direct/Military Module/Current/Search: Precision Bombing [24 June 1999]

Coffman, Steve. "Building Earth’s Largest Library: Driving the Future." Searcher. 7. No 3 (March 1999). Available [Online] [22 June 1999].

4. Electronic Mail (Personal):

According to Crumlish, in The Internet Dictionary (1995), electronic mail (e-mail or email) is one of the most popular features of the Internet and networking. The term E-mail, as defined by Crumlish, "…is used both for the overall process and for the messages carried electronically from computer to computer."

Example:

Author [author's email address]. [Subject of message] [Email to recipient's name recipient's email address]. Date. Archived note if applicable.

Models:

Crouse, Maurice . Electronic Citation [Email to Julie Zecher] . 24 June 1999.

Zecher, Julie . Electronic Citations [Email to Libref-L] . 13 May 1999. This message is archived for reference:

Available [Online]: : Search the archives/Search electronic citations/file #011059.

Selected Bibliography

Citing CIAO. Available [Online]: [13 August 1999]

Crouse, Maurice. Citing Electronic Information in History Papers. rev. ed. 6 May 1999 Available [Online]: [13 August 1999]

Crouse, Maurice . Electronic Citation [Email to Julie Zecher]. 24 June 1999.

Crumlish, Christian. The Internet Dictionary. Alameda, CA: Sybex, 1996. (REF TK 5105.875 .I57 C79 1995)

Hoemann, George H. Electronic Style - the Final Frontier. Updated 14 September 1998.Available [Online]: [13 August 1999]

Page, Melvin. A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities. 20 February 1996. Available [Online]: [13 August 1999]

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 6th ed. Revised by John Grossman and Alice Bennett. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996 (LB 2369 .T8 1996)

Compiled by: Julie L. Zecher

Please e-mail your questions and suggestions to LIBREF@NWC.NAVY.MIL