Web Archive Citations

Using web archive links in your citations helps ensure the evidence you reference does not disappear, maintaining the integrity of your scholarship and contributing important resources to web archives.

For example, the Law Library of Congress started using Perma.cc as of Oct 2015 (https://perma.cc/2AXT-2QKE). Citations in their documents, such as “Regulation of Drones” (April 2016), now include archive links stored in Perma.cc like:

Guidelines

If you are citing a live website, include the full normal citation, but add the archive link at the end:

“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” University of Idaho, 21 Sept. 2020, www.uidaho.edu/vandal-health-clinic/coronavirus (archived at: https://perma.cc/T8YP-BFC9 ).

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Kasia. “Inside the Internet Archive”. The Atlantic, 7 May 2013, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/05/inside-the-internet-archive/466068/ (archived at: https://perma.cc/H3SK-LBR7 ).

In some cases you will be citing a specific version of a page found in an web archive (rather than the current live page), saying something like “an earlier version of this story dated 2012 said…” or “in 2006 the web page reported…”. In this situation you should make clear that you are citing the archived page, naming the web archive as the source of your citation. Treat it as if you are citing the web archive site, rather than the original location. Some style guides use “Retrieved from” to make this clear.

“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” University of Idaho, 23 May 2020. Internet Archive, web.archive.org/web/20200515231836/https://www.uidaho.edu/vandal-health-clinic/coronavirus.

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Kasia. “Inside the Internet Archive”. The Atlantic, 7 May 2013. Internet Archive, web.archive.org/web/20160414123101/http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/05/inside-the-internet-archive/466068/.

Keep in mind that many citation style guides are seriously out of date with modern scholarship methods and information sources, thus inadequately describe how to handle citing web resources. Few style guides mention the use of web archive links and some dictate not citing web pages at all (which seems a particularly lazy and risky practice).

IMO: Rather than following the details of a citation style, it is better for ongoing scholarship to provide as much detail as possible for people to understand and find your evidence. It is often helpful to provide an “accessed on” date so that people will know when you are citing.