How to cite a Digital File
The digital world has been expanding at an astonishing pace. Information that can be found in the world of print, such as books, magazines and newspapers has been converted into digital files. Books, magazines, photographs, sound recordings, films can all be found in a digital format.
Newer forms of information that originated in the electronic world are now used in research. These include, emails, PDF files, documents created by a word processor and transmitted electronically, scanned images, tweets and text messages.
The first step in creating a citation for a digital file is to determine what type of file it is. Is a book? Magazine? Photograph? ... and so on.
Lets start with some of the most common type of digital files used for citation.
Book Read Online
Some books can be read directly from a source online. These might be online textbooks, books read from a website such as the Gutenberg Project, or from a commercial site such as Follettshelf.
When a book is read directly from the internet, it is cited like a print book except that instead of using "Print" at the end of the citation you would put "Web", date of access and the URL.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. N.p, n.d. Web. 5 Nov 2012 <http://
Book Read with an Electronic Device.
Electronic devices,, such as the Nook and Kindle have become a popular way to read books, magazines and other forms of information. When citing information read from an electronic device, the format for a citation is the same as for the print version except that instead of the word "Print" at the end of the citation, use the name of the device and the work "file".
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations [1867 Edition]. A Public Domain Book. N.p. N.d.
King, Stephen. 11/22/63: a novel. New York:Scribner, c2011. eBook.
Latimer, Matt. The Best (and Worst) Speeches of 2012. Newsweek/The Daily Beast, LLC.
14 Nov 2012 Web www.thedailybeast.com
Latimer, Matt. The Best (and Worst) Speeches of 2012. Newsweek 19 Nov 2012. 26-27.
Patinkin, Mark. "Mad magazine let us boys be uncivilized and gross." The Providence
Journal. The Providence Journal Co. 6 May 2014. Web.
Brokaw, Tom (tombrokaw). "SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this
campaign." 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m. Tweet.
McPherson, John. "Close to Home." Cartoon. The Providence Journal. The Providence
Journal Co. 3 May 2014. Web.
Davis, Jim. "Garfield." Comic Strip. The Providence Journal. The Providence Journal, Co.
3 May 2014. Web.
Sound Recording, Film or Video Recording, Map or Chart, and more.
Citation & Bibliography
How to Cite an Article from a Magazine
How to Cite an Article from a Newspaper
How to Cite a Personal Interview
How to Cite Images from the Internet
Links for Creating Citiations
Examples in the MLA Format
Examples in the APA Format
How to Create a Bibliography or Works Cited List
Citation Activity Page