The internet is the most problematic of the three main referencing sources we are considering. This is why.
1. The internet is now the world's biggest information source, containing a huge range of media: video clips, online newspaper articles, e-books, archives and 'user generated content' such as blogs and posts on discussion boards. There is no single way to quote from and reference all these different types of content.
2. The open nature of the internet means almost anything can be put online, unedited and unverified. Basic rules can be applied to eliminate material which is wrong, misleading or biased: sometimes, though, it is difficult to establish who has authored a web-page. The internet is also a very unstable environment: websites are frequently modified, replaced or removed.
Don't be put off using good internet sources by wondering how to reference them. Remember the common sense purposes of referencing we mentioned earlier:
- To indicate where you have quoted or used sources of information outside your work.
- For your reader to find those sources easily.
These purposes apply equally to internet sources.