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Scholarly Writing: Citation Resources

Citation Resources

Print Resources

Online Resources

Citing from the web

Rule 18.2 of the Bluebook governs the citation format of information found on the internet. Remember that, as a matter of authority, the Bluebook requires the citation to print sources when available unless there's a digital copy that is authenticated, official or is an exact copy. 

Keep in mind the following general principles when citing from the internet:

  • When an authenticated, official, or exact copy of a source is available online, citation can be made as if to the original print source (without any URL information appended).
  • Cite to authenticated sources (i.e. encrypted sources) to ensure the accuracy of the online source. Generally, authenticated materials will have a certificate or logo indicating that it's been authenticated by a government entity.
  • If there is no authenticated source available, The Bluebook rules indicate that citation should be made to the official source. An official source will marked as such by the content originator.
  • An exact copy is one that is an unaltered copy of the printed source in a widely used format that preserves pagination and other attributes of the printed work (e.g. PDF).
  • When to append the URL:
    • The Bluebook states that if "the cited information is available in a traditional source but such source is so obscure as to be practically unavailable, or if a parallel citation to an internet source will substantially improve access to the source cited, citation should be made both to the traditional source and to the internet source by appending the URL directly to the end of the citation."
    • When an online source can be fully cited according to another rule in The Bluebook, the citation should be made according to the rules for the print source and the URL appended directly at the end. 
  • Order of Authorities & Parentheticals
    • Where multiple parentheticals are required, use Rule 1.5(b)  to determine the order. 
  • Archiving
    • Archiving of internet sources is encouraged, but only when a reliable archival tool, like Wayback Machine (see below) or (see the next tab) is available. For internet citations to Internet sources, append the archive URL to the full citation in brackets.

What if my link doesn't work?

You may encounter a situation where the link you have to a source does not take you to the page you need to access. In other words, you have what we call a broken link. Fear not! You can head to Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to view saved versions of the page. Just insert your link into the search bar and hit Enter on your keyboard. Select the year, and then browse using the interactive calendar. You can also use the Wayback Machine to browse changes made to a website (e.g. you want to see how a candidate for office has changed their website since the last election).

What is is a hyperlink preservation tool that addresses the problem of broken hyperlinks in law review article citations. creates permanent, archived versions of webpages with a permalink (i.e. permanent URL). If a page is taken down or the link is otherwise broken, the page can still be accessed using the link created with

Creating a Account

Journal students should contact the Managing Editor for the journal's login credentials. 

When to Use

Create a permalink to archive any free web content that is not published in permanent form (e.g. blogs, press releases, etc.). According to the Terms of Service, you should only archive material that is "freely available on the Internet to the general public without paying, registering with the website, or the like" and "cited in a legal work or in a work of scholarship, reporting, criticism or commentary."

How to Archive Using

Use's Creating Perma Records and Links guide to learn how to create a Perma link. See Bluebook Rule 18.2.1(d) for how to incorporate a Perma link into a legal citation. For additional questions, see's User Guide, which contains a FAQ page.