How to cite a website in Chicago style

Chicago recommends citing online articles in the same way as a print article, but with an added URL:

Chicago online article citation
Footnote/endnote1. Rachel Riederer, “The Stark Inequality of Climate Change,” The New Yorker, October 17, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/the-stark-inequality-of-climate-change.
BibliographyRiederer, Rachel. “The Stark Inequality of Climate Change.” The New Yorker, October 17, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/the-stark-inequality-of-climate-change.

For other web content, which often lacks an author or publication date, the format looks like this:

Chicago website citation
Footnote/endnote1. “Proofreading & Editing Example,” Scribbr, accessed October 10, 2019, https://www.scribbr.com/proofreading-editing/thesis/example/.
BibliographyScribbr. “Proofreading & Editing Example.” Accessed October 10, 2019. https://www.scribbr.com/proofreading-editing/thesis/example/.

An access date is only added to a website citation when no publication or revision date is available.

Citing online articles and blogs in Chicago

To cite an article from an online version of a newspaper or magazine, you include the exact same information as you would for the print version, but with the addition of a URL or DOI.

To cite a book or journal article accessed online, see our guides to Chicago book citations and Chicago journal citations.

Newspaper and magazine articles

To cite an online newspaper or magazine article, use the basic Chicago citation format – article title in quotation marks, publication title in italics – with a URL included at the end:

Footnote example

1. Karl Vick, “Cuba on the Cusp,” Time, March 26, 2015, https://­time.com/­3759629/­cuba-us-policy/.

Blogs

Blogs are cited in a similar way to newspapers, with the word “blog” added in parentheses (unless the name already contains the word “blog”).

If the blog is part of a larger publication, the title of the publication appears, also italicized:

Footnote example

2. William Germano, “Futurist Shock,” Lingua Franca (blog), Chronicle of Higher Education, February 15, 2017, https://www.chronicle.com/­blogs/­linguafranca/­2017/02/15/­futurist-shock/.

Note that there are slightly different rules for citing interviews published online and citing YouTube videos.

Citing web pages with no author in Chicago

For other web content, the format is similar to an online article citation, but the website name is not italicized, and there is often no author credited.

In notes and bibliography style, a full note citation begins with the name of the article. A shortened note and a bibliography entry begin with the name of the organization that published the source:

Chicago website citation: Notes and bibliography style
Full note1. “Climate Change is Affecting the Way Europe Floods, Experts Warn,” University of Glasgow, October 25, 2019, https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_681850_en.html.
Short note2. University of Glasgow, “Climate Change.”
BibliographyUniversity of Glasgow. “Climate Change is Affecting the Way Europe Floods, Experts Warn.” October 25, 2019. https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_681850_en.html.

In author-date style, use the organization name in both the in-text citation and the reference list entry:

Chicago website citation: Author-date style
In-text citation(University of Glasgow 2019)
Reference listUniversity of Glasgow. 2019. “Climate Change is Affecting the Way Europe Floods, Experts Warn.” October 25, 2019. https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_681850_en.html.

Note that if the organization name is the same as the website name, it is not repeated in a bibliography or reference list entry.

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Publication, revision, and access dates in website citations

When a web text includes a clear publication date, use this as the date for your citation, as you would with any other source. When it does not have a formal publication date, look for the date of last revision or update and use that instead.

In a full note or bibliography entry, you can use both if you think it’s important for the reader to know:

Footnote example

1. Shane Bryson, “Word Order Rules in English,” Scribbr, April 21, 2015, last modified February 20, 2019, https://www.scribbr.com/­academic-writing/­word-­order-­rules-­in-­english/.

Where neither a publication date nor a revision date are available, include the date when you accessed the page instead. Only use this when there are no other options:

Bibliography example

Utrecht University. “Strategic Themes.” Accessed October 20, 2019. https://www.uu.nl/en/research/profile/strategic-themes.

Missing dates in author-date style

In author-date style, replace the year with “n.d.” (no date):

Author-date example

(Utrecht University n.d.)

In the reference list entry, include “n.d.,” but also add the access date after the title:

Reference list example

Utrecht University. n.d. “Strategic Themes.” Accessed October 20, 2019. https://www.uu.nl/en/research/profile/strategic-themes.

Citing social media content

Social media content can usually just be described in the text instead of being cited formally. If you want to provide a citation, Chicago provides guidelines for doing so.

Since most social media posts are untitled, use the beginning of the post (up to 160 characters) in place of the title. If the post is less than 160 characters long, you can quote the whole thing:

Bibliography example

Chicago Manual of Style. “Is the world ready for a singular they? We thought so back in 1993.” Facebook, April 17, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/­ChicagoManual/­posts/­10152906193679151.

If the content was posted under a username or screen name, include it in parentheses after the real name of the poster. If a user’s real name is unknown, the username appears as the author.

Footnote example

1. Jack Dorsey (@jack), “We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation,” Twitter, March 1, 2018, https://twitter.com/­jack/­status/­969234275420655616.

Forums are cited in a similar way to social media sites, except that the thread title is used instead of the text of the post, and the name of the specific forum (e.g. a subreddit) is included:

Bibliography example

Bedi, Neil (u/NeilBedi). “I’m a reporter who investigated a Florida psychiatric hospital that earns millions by trapping patients against their will. Ask me anything.” r/IAmA, Reddit, October 1, 2019. https://www.reddit.com/r/­IAmA/­comments/­dbtthv/­im_a_reporter_who_investigated_a_florida/.

Citing private web content

Private digital content – emails, text messages, direct messages, but also content in private Facebook groups or other webpages not accessible to everyone – should be cited as personal communications.

Citations of personal communications do not follow a standard format; rather, you should just describe where the source you’re citing comes from:

Footnote example

1. James Smith, Twitter direct message to author, September 19, 2018.

Author-date example

(John Jones, comment in a private Facebook group, August 12, 2018)

Personal communications should not appear in your bibliography or reference list.

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

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