There is a range of citation guidance available online using varying citation styles. The guidance for the use of resources accessed online, especially beyond ebooks and journal articles, can be patchy and is not covered in every standard or citation style. Most guidance recommends acknowledging the use of an online resources where it is used and providing links to URLs where applicable, however the official published versions of this guidance can sometimes be limited in the range of examples they provide. Many higher education institutions, such as Leeds Trinity University and Anglia Ruskin University, provide guidance with very detailed examples of different types of resources.
The Heritage PIDs project aims to offer guidance to cultural heritage organisations, those creating citation guidance and researchers on citing items in cultural heritage organisations.
For staff in cultural heritage organisations encouraging citations of their collections, it is suggested that they provide a recommended citation format and that it includes a persistent link to the resource along with other standard reference information such as title, creator, date etc. This may be different from the link in the web browser so it encourages use of the persistent ink. Citation formatters are available as lightweight bits of code and can be embedded in webpages. In all guidance, it should be made clear that citation of the digital resource is preferred where that was the version used.
For creators of guidance on citation, e.g. librarians and information literacy professionals, the main point is that the persistent link should be recommended wherever possible. This might be included on a webpage and may not be what is contained in the browser bar of a website. Encouraging the use of recommended links is preferred. It should be made clear that the digital version of a resource should be cited where that has been used.
For researchers and authors citing cultural heritage materials, use suggested citations wherever they are provided, and adapt them to the citation style you are using. Cite the digital version of the item if that is what was consulted. Do not automatically include the link to a resource from browser bar.
Anglia Ruskin University. 2019. Guide to Harvard style of referencing. Anglia Ruskin University. [Online] Available at: https://library.aru.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm [Accessed 19 July 2021]
APA. February 2020. Artwork References. APA [Online] Available at: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/artwork-references [Accessed 19 July 2021]
Gibson, Angela. 25 August 2018. Citing Artifacts in a Digital Archive. MLA Style Center. [Online] Available at: https://style.mla.org/citing-work-in-digital-archives [Accessed 19 July 2021]
Leeds Trinity University. 2017. Harvard referencing for historians. Leeds Trinity University. [Online] Available at: https://lib.leedstrinity.ac.uk/iguana/uploads/file/Library%20documents/Library%20guides/Harvard%20referencing%20for%20Historians.pdf [Accessed 19 July 2021]
MLA Style Center. 29 September 2016. How do I cite a museum image that I viewed in person or online? MLA Style Center [Online] Available at: https://style.mla.org/citing-images-viewed-firsthand-or-online/ [Accessed 19 July 2021]
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