UTS Library

Online only

This page will outline some general tips when trying to create a reference for an online source. Please keep in mind, many sources should be referenced as a physical source even if you accessed it online. If the information you are viewing online is a book, journal article, newspaper or magazine article, conference paper or thesis, use those formats instead.

If you are having trouble finding the information you need to build your reference, see examples of webpages on our identifying sources page. 

Author Year, Title of page, type of document (if necessary), Publisher (not required if same as the author), Location of publisher (if necessary), viewed date (day month year), <URL>.


... is 'one of the most profitable trends today' (MarketLine 2013, para. 2).

Reference list

MarketLine 2013, Childrenswear in Australia, industry profile, viewed 9 April 2014, <MarketLine database>.

Authors and publishers

In many cases the author will be an organisation and will also be the publisher (e.g. a company or government department). If that is the case you need list them only once, as the author.

You only need to include the location of the publisher if it is an important detail that will help provide context for your reader. If you can't find the publisher's location, you may have to do a separate search on the organisation, or visit the 'About' page on their website.

For examples on locating information for a reference, see identifying sources.

Type of document

When referencing a webpage you should provide the type of document, this will help your reader locate and understand the context of the source you are citing.

Here are some examples of different types of documents you may come across:

  • catalogue number, use cat. no. to identify ABS webpages
  • reports, such as annual reports or government reports
  • information booklet
  • profile, such as industry profile or employee profile

Behind a paywall

This reference type is used for Library subscription databases. Images, data and reports obtained through the library's online databases require their own format because their URLs are not publicly available. This includes any pay-to-view online newspapers or magazines.

Author Year, Title, Type of Work (e.g. image, news article or video), Publisher, viewed date, <database name>.


... after removal of gel (AMH Children’s Dosing Companion 2017).

AutoCAD allows for annotative scaling (Bryant 2018).

Qantas has a market cap most recently reported at 9.7 billion AUD (DatAnalysis Premium 2014) ...

Reference list

AMH Children’s Dosing Companion 2017, Tetracaine (amethocaine), viewed 17 October 2017, <Children’s Dosing Companion Database>.

Bryant, S. 2018, AutoCAD: plotting & publishing, video, Lynda.com, viewed 22 May 2018, <Lynda.com>.

DatAnalysis Premium 2014, Qantas Airways Limited, company report, viewed 25 March 2014, <DatAnalysis Premium database>.


  • Use the Database vendor’s name as the author if no human author listed.
  • If the type of document is not relevant it can be left out.

Long URLs

If you have a URL that takes up several lines in your reference list, you may want to shorten it. Here are some solutions:

  1. Use the URL of the web page that contains the link to the page you used (as long as it is clear how to get to the actual page used).
  2. Use a link shortener to generate a shorter URL, try TinyURL or Bit.Ly.

... is located on the corner of Ultimo Rd and Quay St (UTS Library 2018).

Reference list

UTS Library 2018, Google Maps, viewed 6 March 2019, <https://www.google.com/maps/place/UTS+Library/@-33.8804432,151.2000451,17z/data=!3m2!4b1!5s0x6b12ae244517e933:0x6db2850475b30975!4m5!3m4!1s0x6b12ae244397eeb1:0x6021810592f9b83b!8m2!3d-33.8804477!4d151.2022338>.

Or alternatively:

UTS Library 2018, Google Maps, viewed 6 March 2019, <https://tinyurl.com/y2fu9ocl>.

Quoting when there are no page numbers

Often information is presented on a single page with a scrollbar in online sources. Rules about quoting online sources are adressed in the paraphrasing and quoting section of this guide, but we have copied them here to reiterate:

Quoting from a web page

When quoting from a web page use para. to indicate the paragraph where the words from your quote can be found:

‘my favourite small brown animals are hedgehogs and porcupines’ (Small 2013, para. 12).

Quoting from eBooks without page numbers

If you are quoting from an eBook without page numbers you can help the reader find your quote using chapter numbers and paragraph numbers like this:

Williams and Smith (2008, ch. 2, para. 7) stated that ...

Formatting hyperlinks

Often when creating a reference list in Microsoft Word, URLs will automatically be turned into a hyperlink (underlined and blue). Traditionally, reference lists should be clear of any formatting, here are some solutions to remove hyperlinks:

  1. Right click on a hyperlink and select 'Remove Hyperlink'.
  2. You can change the settings in Microsoft Word to stop the automatic hyperlinking, see instructions here
However, this is completely optional and marks should not be deducted if you do not remove hyperlinks from your reference list. 

Reference List

City of Sydney 2019, When a DA is required, application guide, viewed 9 April 2019, <https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/development/application-guide/when-a-da-is-required>.


Reference List

City of Sydney 2019, When a DA is required, application guide, viewed 9 April 2019, <https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/development/application-guide/when-a-da-is-required>.