Franklin Style Manual Online

Listing retrieval information for online sources

Not listed in the Basic Formatting Rules for Reference List Entries chart are guidelines for presenting the online retrieval information appearing at the end of entries for online sources. This information about online publication typically replaces the traditional publication details appearing for print and recorded media. However, as will be discussed and demonstrated in Section 2.3.3, some listings of online sources, particularly articles from research databases, require that you list original print information as well, which can be useful for any source originally produced in one medium, but then later digitized to an online site.

Each listing for online sources ends with a retrieval statement, which begins with the phrase Retrieved from and includes, in its simplest form, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the source. Two other pieces of information might be inserted before the URL (or, more commonly, web address): (a) a date of most recent retrieval for sources that are expected to be updated regularly; and (b) the name of the website housing the source (capitalized but no italics) followed by a colon, when not clear from other information in the entry. While Sections 2.3.3‐6 provide plenty of examples for review, here are some basic guidelines for listing retrieval statements:

  • Do not present URLs that include session‐specific query information; instead, list a search or home page for the site, or a direct “permalink” to the source itself.
  • Do not list a retrieval date for sources that are not expected to change, for instance dated articles.
  • Do not put a period after the URL or include hyperlink formatting (i.e., underlining, etc.)
  • When a URL extends beyond the length of the line, insert a space before slashes or periods at appropriate places in the URL to force the word processor to create a line break.

Last Updated: 06/8/2012 13:14