Why having good citations matters.
You have control when you’re evaluating a site’s credibility, but you have less control over the fact that pages might disappear or change their Web address. If it's an important source, you should consider printing out the page or saving it on your own computer as HTML, a screenshot, or an audio or video file. If you find that a Web page is gone and you haven't had a chance to save it, you can search for a copy at the Internet Archive (also known as the Wayback Machine), at http://archive.org. [Thanks to a listener who pointed out that archive.org also has a tool that lets you save websites that you suspect may disappear.]
Despite the risks, an abundance of credible information resides on the Web, and you shouldn't dismiss a source simply because it is in an electronic format. The style guides let you cite live events you attended, which other people are much less likely to be able to revisit than a website or podcast. So cite away! Beyoncé would want you to do it.
“Citations of website content.” Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, 14.245.
“Online magazine articles.” Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, 14.200.
“Published or broadcast interviews.” Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, 14.221.
“Works Cited: A Quick Guide.” MLA Style Center. https://style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide/ (accessed January 16, 2017).
Gibson, Angela. “URLs: Some Practical Advice.” MLA Style Center. https://style.mla.org/2016/11/02/urls-some-practical-advice/ (accessed January 16, 2016).
Lee, Chelsea. “How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in AP A Style.” APA Style. November 18, 2010. http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/11/how-to-cite-something-you-found-on-a-website-in-apa-style.html (accessed January 16, 2016).
(Note: We use a house style for fomatting sources.)
This article was originally published April 11, 2008 and updated January 18, 2017.