Citing a site in a scientific paper or essay sometimes raises a lot of problems and questions, but there are a number of proven methods that will allow you to find the publication date. To find out when an article or page was published, look for the date on the site or in its URL. Alternatively, you can find out the date by doing a Google search using the custom URL operator. If you need to know when the site itself was published, check out the site's source code. While the publication date can be found for most sites, this is not always the case. In this case, indicate the site without a date.
Method 1 of 4: Inspecting the Page and URL
Step 1. Look under the title of an article or blog post
Most news sites and blogs list the date and name of the author under the title of the article. Look for the date right below the headline or at the beginning of the article.
- There can be a secondary title or image between the post title and the date. Scroll down the page to see if the date is listed under a secondary heading or image.
- Some articles may have been updated after publication. In this case, at the beginning or at the end of the article there will be a note with information about the date and reason for the change.
if you did not find the date in the article, try searching for it on the main page of the site or in a search engine. The publication date can be indicated next to the link to the article or its thumbnail.
Step 2. Review the copyright information at the bottom of the web page
Scroll to the bottom of the page and take a look at the information indicated there. There may be copyright information or a publication note. Study this information to find the original publication date. However, please note that this date may be the date the site was last updated, not the date it was published.
- The site update date lets you know when the last time something was added or changed on the site. In other words, the information you are interested in may have been published earlier. However, a recent change in copyright or update means that the site remains active and constantly updated, so the information can be trusted.
- Check out the section of the article that contains a biography of the author. Sometimes the publication date is indicated directly above or below it.
the copyright date usually consists of only a year, without a month or a day.
Step 3. Check if the date is part of the URL
View the page URL in the address bar of your browser. Some blogs and websites automatically fill in the page address with the date the post was created. The address bar can contain the full date or only the month and year.
- Make sure you are on the publish page now, not the archive page or index page. Click on the post title to go to the post page.
- Many bloggers edit the URL to make it easier to find, so the date may not appear.
Step 4. For an approximate date, take a look at the timestamps of the comments
While not the most accurate method, it will give you a basic idea of when the article was first published. The name of the user who left the comment should indicate when the comment was written. Scroll through the comments until you find the earliest date. If a user left a comment when the article was just published, then the date of its writing will be the closest to the date of publication.
This date cannot be used to cite the website. It will allow you to roughly figure out the date of publication of the site and will give an idea of how old this information is. If the information contains fresh data, quote the site without specifying the date
Method 2 of 4: Using Google
Step 1. Copy the website URL and paste it into the Google search box
Highlight the URL, right-click on it and select "Copy". Then go to the Google homepage and paste the URL into the search bar. Do not rush to start the search, as you still need to add an operator.
Be sure to copy the full website address
Step 2. Insert “inurl: »In front of the page address and run a search. This operator will allow you to find more information about the URL of the website. First, place your cursor in front of the URL. Then enter "inurl:". Don't add spaces. Then click "Search".
- Don't leave quotes.
- It just sounds complicated, but you really don't need any specialized knowledge to work with this operator. You just need to enter it, and Google will take care of the rest.
Step 3. Add "& as_qdr = y15" after the URL and run search again
Place your cursor right after the URL you just searched for. Then enter "& as_qdr = y15" (without the quotes). Run the search again to go to the final list of results.
- This set of characters is the second part of the "inurl:" operator.
- Copy and paste the code if it makes it easier for you.
use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L in Firefox and Chrome or Alt + D in Internet Explorer to place the cursor where you want in the search bar.
Step 4. Examine the results for the date indicated in the site description
Scroll through the search results. The link to the page you are trying to link to will be listed at the top. There should be a date to the left of the page description. Usually it can be found there.
If the date is missing, then it may not be available. Try to determine the date the site was published by looking at its source code to decide later whether to link to this information without a date of publication
Method 3 of 4: Search in the source code
Step 1. Right-click on the page and select Page Information
After that, a new window or tab will open in the browser, filled with the source code of the page. Don't be alarmed, you don't need to understand the content of the code to find the date.
Depending on the browser, this item may be referred to as "Page Source Code"
to open the source, just press Control + U on Windows and Command + U on Mac.
Step 2. Open the Find function by pressing Ctrl + F or Command + F
The Find function allows you to easily find the date in the source code. To open this feature on Windows, press Ctrl + F. On Mac - Use Command + F.
instead, you can also click Edit in the menu bar at the top and select Find on This Page from the drop-down menu.
Step 3. Look for terms such as "datePublished", "publishdate" or "published_time"
Enter one of the keywords and press Enter. Find will analyze all the code on the page for a keyword. If successful, the cursor will be moved to where the information you are looking for is located.
- If none of the search queries return a result, enter "publish" in the search box. Perhaps this will allow you to find the publication data.
- If you want to know when a web page was last modified or updated, look in the source code for the line "modified".
Step 4. Look for the date specified in the year-month-day format
Examine the piece of code that the Find function led you to. The date should be listed immediately after the keyword. The year will be listed first, followed by the month and day.
Use this date to refer to the site or to determine how old the information is
Method 4 of 4: Citing a Site
Step 1. Include the author, article title, website, date and URL for citation in MLA format
Write the name of the author. Start with your last name, then enter your first name and separate them with a comma. Put a period, then capitalize the title of the article, enclose it in quotation marks and put a period. Add the site name in italics, followed by a comma and a date in day-month-year format. Put in a comma, then put in the URL and put a period.
Example: Gultyaeva, Ekaterina. "Expressive reading. How to teach a child to read expressively. Pedsovet, 31 July 2014, pedsovet.su/publ/166-1-0-5180
if you don't know the publication date, don't worry. Instead, include the date you visited the website. Example: Gultyaeva, Ekaterina. "Expressive reading. How to teach a child to read expressively. Pedsovet, pedsovet.su/publ/166-1-0-5180. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
Step 2. Enter author name, year, article title and URL for citation in APA format
Write the author's last name, put a comma, then put his name and put a period. Then, enclose the year the site was published in parentheses and put a period after it. Capitalize your article title followed by a period. Finally, write "Checked by" and enter the site URL without a period after it.
Example: APA style. (2008). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Checked by
if the date is not specified, then write “date not specified” instead of the year of publication. For example, you will have it written like this: APA style. (date not specified). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Checked by
Step 3. Provide author name, page title, website title, date and URL for citation in Chicago Style format
Separate the author's last name and first name with a comma. Put a full stop, then capitalize the title of the page and enclose it in quotation marks, then put another full stop. Add the site name in italics. Put a period, then write "Last Modified" and indicate the publication date of the site in the format month-day-year, after which put a period. Add a URL and add a period.
Example: Nechukhaeva, Natalia. "How to deal with the thieves of your articles." ShkolaZhizni.ru. Last modified on June 18, 2019
if no date is specified, use the date of the site visit. Follow the same format, but instead of "Last Modified" write "Checked" before the date. For example: Nechukhaeva, Natalia. "How to deal with the thieves of your articles." ShkolaZhizni.ru. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- Some sites may have different dates. For example, the date the site was created and the date a particular page was published. Use the most significant date for cited information (usually the date the page was published).
- Checking the date on the site will allow you to find out if the information is still relevant or is already out of date.
- Some websites hide the publication date to keep the information up to date, even if it is not.