Oxford Referencing – Citing a Website
  • 3-minute read
  • 22nd May 2017

Oxford Referencing – Citing a Website

With computers everywhere, it’s common to cite websites in academic writing. With Oxford referencing, you’ll need two things for this: footnote citations and a bibliography entry.

The format for Oxford citations may differ depending on the version you’re using, so remember to check your university’s style guide. But to get you started, this guide should help.

Footnote Citations

Footnote citations appear at the bottom of the page, indicated by superscript numbers:

This is how a citation should look in your document.1

The first time you cite a website, Oxford referencing uses the following format:

n. Initial(s). Surname, ‘Page Title’, Website [website], publication date (including day month and year if available), page/section/paragraph number, <URL>, accessed date.

You should then end up with something like:

1. P. Philips, ‘Going Beyond: How to Reach Mars’, Space Travel [website], 2015, <www.spacetravel.org/mars-travel>, accessed 2 August 2016.

If the website has more than one author, use ‘and’ to separate the final two:

2. A. Moretti and T. Pepe, Mars Remains an Unattainable Dream [website], 2016, <www.spaceexploration.com/aliens>, accessed 6 September 2016.

If the website has four or more authors, use ‘et al.’ after the first name:

3. W. Ellis et al., ‘Has NASA Finally Outdone Itself?’, The Big Questions [website], 24 June 2014, <www.thebigquestions.org/NASA>, accessed 4 September 2016.

If quoting part of a web page, the paragraph or section should be noted after the date:

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4. T. Harper, ‘Experiencing Space’, Space from Above [website], 2014, para. 10, <www.spacefromabove.com/experiencing>, accessed 5 September 2016.

Sometimes the author or date of publication for a page or site might be missing. If this happens, use the publishing organisation in place of the author and/or ‘[no date]’ in place of the date of publication:

5. Space from Above, ‘Endless Darkness’, Space from Above [website], [no date], para. 2, <www.spacefromabove.com/void>, accessed 7 September 2016.

As above, if the publishing organisation is the same as the website, this information does not have to be repeated after the title.

Subsequent Footnotes

After citing a source once, you can use a shortened footnote format when citing it again. How this is done varies, so remember to check your style guide.

One common approach is giving just the author’s surname and a relevant paragraph number. Another approach is using the Latin abbreviations ‘ibid.’ and ‘op cit.

Whichever method you use, make sure to apply it consistently in your document.

The Bibliography

At the end of your document, you should add all cited sources to a bibliography. The format for a website used in Oxford referencing is:

Surname, Initial(s)., ‘Page Title’, Website Name [website], date of publication, URL, accessed date.

For example:

Philips, P., ‘Going Beyond: How to Reach Mars’, Space Travel [website], 2015, <www.spacetravel.org/mars-travel>, accessed 2 August 2016.

As with footnotes, if a website doesn’t have a named author, use the publishing organisation. If there is no date, write ‘[no date]’ to show this.

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