How Do I Cite Online Sources?

Citing websites and media sources using Harvard referencing


In text

Cite the name of the author/ organisation responsible for the site and the date created or last revised):

(International Narcotics Control Board 1999) 

List of references

International Narcotics Control Board 1999, United Nations, accessed 1 October 1999, <>

Include the following information:

  • author (the person or organisation responsible for the site)
  • year (date created or last updated)
  • name of sponsor of site (if available) 
  • accessed day month year (the date you viewed the site)
  • URL or Internet address (between pointed brackets). If possible, ensure that the URL is included without a line-break.

Specific pages or documents within a website

In text

Information should include author/authoring body name(s) and the date created or last revised:

(Li 2004) or: (World Health Organisation 2013) 

List of references

One author:

Li, L 2014, Chinese scroll painting H533, Australian Museum, accessed 20 February 2016, <>.

Organisation as author:

World Health Organisation 2013, Financial crisis and global health, The United Nations, accessed 1 August 2013, <>.

Include the following:

  • author (the person or organisation responsible for the site)
  • year (date created or last updated)
  • page title (in italics)
  • name of sponsor of site (if available)
  • accessed day month year (the day you viewed the site)
  • URL or Internet address (pointed brackets). 

Webpages with no author or date

No author

In text

If the author's name is unknown, cite the website/page title and date:

(Land for sale on moon 2007) 

List of references

Land for sale on moon  2007, accessed 19 June 2007, <>.

No date

In the text

If there is not date on the page, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date):

(ArtsNSW n.d.)

(Kim n.d)

List of references

ArtsNSW n.d., New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation, accessed 19 June 2007, <

Kim, M n.d., Chinese New Year pictures and propaganda posters, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, accessed 12 April 2016, <>.

Database items

UNSW library offers students access to the full text of journals articles, newspapers, and other publications through searchable databases. They are usually accessed through the Library Resource Database, or through MyCourse materials. Journals in full text databases are usually available via subscription by the library. For this reason, cite the database name and the date of access. Full text databases include ProQuest, EAI, and Wiley Interscience.

Library-subscribed resources usually have URLs that will not work independently, so URLs are not generally included when citing database resources.

To cite a journal article from full text database

In text

Cite as you would a journal article:

(Nicholls 2006, p. 171)

(Holmes 2004)

Articles retrieved from databases are usually in pdf form and have page numbers.

List of references

Nicholls, D 2006, "Does the meaning mean a thing?": Johnny Young's hit songs of the 60s-70s', Australian Cultural History, No 2, pp. 163-183, accessed 11 May 2007 from Informit Full Text Database, ISSN; 0728-8433.

Holmes, S 2004, "But this Time You Choose!': Approaching the 'Interactive' audience in reality TV', International Journal of Cultural Studies, No. 7, pp. 213-231, accessed 3 March 2007 from Sage Journals Online.

Cite the article as you would the same article in a print publication, listing:

  • author(s) name and initials
  • title of the article (between single quotation marks)
  • title of journal (in italics)
  • any publication information (volume, number etc.)
  • page range
  • accessed day month year (the date you accessed the article)
  • from name of database
  • item number (if given)

To cite a thesis accessed through a database

In text

Cite author, date, page number:

(Lee 2005 p. 78)

List of references

Lee, C 2005, 'Beyond the Pink: (Post) Youth Iconography in Cinema', PhD thesis, Murdoch University, accessed 15 June 2007 from Australian Digital Thesis Program Database.

Include the following:

  • author name and initial
  • year
  • thesis title (between single quotation marks, no italics)
  • type of thesis (eg. MA, PhD)
  • institution
  • date accessed
  • from database name

Newspapers and magazines (print)


If there is no author, list the name of the newspaper, the date, year and page number:

(Sydney Morning Herald 7 March, 1994, p.8)

If there is an author, cite as you would for a journal article:

(Donaghy 1994, p. 3)

List of references

An unattributed newspaper article:

'UNSW gains top ranking from quality team', Sydney Morning Herald, 30 February, 1994, p.21. 

A newspaper article with a named author:

Donaghy, B 1994, 'National meeting set to review tertiary admissions', Campus News,  3-9 March, p. 3.

News and magazines (online)

To cite a news article from an electronic database

In text

If the article has a named author:

(Pianin 2001)

List of references

Pianin, E 2001, 'As coal's fortunes climb, mountains tremble in W.Va; energy policy is transforming lives', The Washington Post,  25 February, p. A03, accessed March 2001 from Electric Library Australasia.

Include the following information:

  • author (if available)
  • year of publication
  • article title (between single quotation marks)
  • newspaper title (in italics)
  • date of article (day, month, page number—if given—and any additional information available)
  • accessed day month year (the date you accessed the items)
  • from name of database
  • item number (if given)


To cite a news article without a named author

In text

No named author:

(New York Daily Times 1830) 

The article can also be discussed in the body of the paragraph:

An account of the popularity of the baby tapir in The Independent (2013) stated that ...

List of references

If there is no named author, list the article title first.

'Amending the Constitution', New York Daily Times, 16 October 1851, p. 2, accessed 15 July 2007 from ProQuest Historical Newspapers database.

'Baby tapir wins hearts at zoo', The Independent, 9 August 2013, Accessed 25 January 2014, <>.


To cite an online news article

In text

Cite the author name and year:

(Coorey 2007)

List of references

Coorey, P 2007, ‘Costello hints at green safety net’, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May, accessed 14 May 2012, <>.

While a URL for the article should be included, if it is very long (more than two lines) or unfixed (from a search engine), only include the publication URL:

Holmes, L 2017, 'The woman making a living out of pretending to be Kylie Minogue', The Daily Telegraph, 23 April, accessed 22 May 2017, <>.

Media releases

To cite a media release

In text

In the text, cite the author (the person responsible for the release) and date:

Prime Minister Howard (2007) announced plans for further welfare reform...

List of references

Include the following information:

  • author name or authoring organisation name
  • date
  • title of release (in italics)
  • format
  • accessed day month year
  • URL (between pointed brackets) 

Office of the Prime Minister 2007, Welfare Payments Reform, media release, accessed 25 July 2007, <>.