[Ads-l] Citing websites in academic articles and books

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 23 14:14:53 EDT 2017

Occasionally I receive questions from academics who wish to cite
information residing on the Quote Investigator website. A questioner
will ask if I have published the material. Some material is now in my
book: "Hemingway Didn't Say That", but most has never been published
in a journal or book.

What standards have been developed within academia for citing web content?

The instability of website content is a significant problem. I am
currently working on an article about the saying "Insanity Is Doing
the Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting Different Results". Back in
2011 I found an instance in a "Narcotics Anonymous" pamphlet (scanned
PDF) printed in November 1981 (according to a note within the

Now the website has been reorganized and I cannot find the pamphlet on
the website. I still have the PDF document, but I cannot give a web
pointer to other researchers.

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine collects snapshots of many
websites and provides greater stability. But the snapshots are
sometimes incomplete. Also, there are complications due to copyright.

I realize that this issue has been discussed for years. Has any
consensus developed?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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