Rensselaer Libraries

Citing Your Readings and Hypertext Links

Posted: Aug 23, 2010

Copyright "fair use" guidelines specify that accurate and complete citations including "a notice of copyright" must appear on materials when original copies are not used. Following the "standard" style guide for your discipline (e.g. ACS, APA, MLA) for this purpose is acceptable and enables library staff to quickly determine if print materials or electronic resources comply with licensing agreements, copyright law and "fair use" guidelines.

Citations for electronic resources generally are modeled after those used for printed works but include important additional elements intended to allow readers to be able to "get back to" the original item. Electronic resources typically fall into one of two categories:

A - resources that are accessed via an intermediary service, e.g. full-text journal articles available from one of the Libraries' Research Databases; or,

B - resources, such as personally authored HTML files, professional society or company web sites, etc., that are generally accessible over the Internet.

To help your Teaching Assistants prepare class reserve lists, the minimum elements needed to identify print and electronic resources accurately are summarized below. The Libraries also provide more specific information via its Writing and Citing Guides webpage.


Article from
a printed journal
Chapter or conference
paper from a book
Full-text journal article
from a database
Other Internet resources
Author of article
Title of article
Journal Title
Vol. no.
Issue no.
Issue date
Author of chapter/paper
Title of chapter/paper
Author/editor of book
Title of book
Place of publication
Journal article data plus

Database name
Medium (online, cd-rom)
Database vendor
Date of Use
Author/owner of resource
Name of resource or file
Web site name(if any)
Date of creation/revision
Complete URL
Date of Use

This page is maintained by John Dojka

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