JOURNAL OF ARABIC AND ISLAMIC STUDIES

(ISSN: 0806-198X)

RULES FOR CITATION OF ELECTRONIC/WEB FILES

by Joseph N. Bell

In order to ensure future access to electronic materials cited by our authors, as well as ease of finding the parts of such materials referred to, the Journal has established the following policies. These policies will remain in effect until suitable alternatives, hopefully reflecting agreed international standards, become available.

A. PROVISION OF MATERIALS

1. All freely accessible electronic/Internet files cited by authors, including any links used, must be be sent in their entirety to the Journal as e-mail attachments or on disk. Names of all files and links must be kept in the original form. Shortened MS DOS titles are not allowed, unless these are the original file names. This means that most of the files in question must be downloaded to and sent from a machine running on an operating system not limited to MS DOS file names. For example machines running on Macintosh, UNIX, or Windows 95 or above should work. Windows 3.x systems cannot be used for this purpose if file names exceed 8 plus 3 characters (after dot).

2. Images linked to files do not have to be sent unless they are of particular relevance to the author's purpose in citing the file.

3. Limited Access Files. In the case of files with limited access (commercial publications and the like), the URL or name of the CD and the original name of the file should be provided, but only the name of the author, the title of the article/book/report (etc.), and the text immediately referred to need be sent. Files from well established and widely distributed limited access journals in electronic form do not have to be sent.

4. Files grouped together in a single directory/folder should be sent together in a single e-mail, if possible, and the original name of the directory/folder should be given in the body of the e-mail message.

5. Authors without access to machines capable of downloading and sending files with full names and extensions should keep a record of these and notify the editors care of a.j.metcalfe@lancaster.ac.uk.

6. Files sent by e-mail should be sent to a.j.metcalfe@lancaster.ac.uk.

B. CITATION OF ELECTRONIC FILES

For most articles, the Journal recommends for the citation of printed and manuscript sources the guidelines given in the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2003). An extension of the Chicago style to electronic files that may be helpful, is described in Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger, Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources (Bedford / St. Martin's), which also gives the MLA, APA, and CBE styles, as well as links to others. The extended "Chicago" style for citing Web sites, e-mail messages, Web discussion forum postings, listserv messages, newsgroup messages, real-time communication, Telnet sites, FTP sites, Gopher sites, and linkage data can be consulted here. The other three styles, as well as links to other citation systems can be accessed through Online's "Citation Styles" index.

The electronic sources most often consulted by Journal authors will as a rule be articles and reports on the Web. For such sources the Chicago style requires (Harnack and Kleppinger's order slightly altered):

- author's name (if known)
- title of document, in quotation marks
- title of complete work (if applicable), in italics
- date of publication or last revision (if known)
- URL, always in full, including final file name, but no longer in brackets, but in roman typeface without underline, separated by commas
- text division (if applicable)
- date of access, in parentheses [no longer required by Chicago, but often useful]. JAIS prefers the inclusion of both publication and access dates.

A reference to the present file on citations would look like this, if you visited it on June 2, 2001:

 

1. Joseph N. Bell, "Rules for Citation of Electronic/Web Files," Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Home Page, 30 May 2001, http://www.uib.no/jais/elec_cit.htm (02 Jun. 2001).

 

or like this, assuming the link is to be treated as active in the file:

 

1. Joseph N. Bell, "Rules for Citation of Electronic/Web Files," Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Home Page, 30 May 2001, http://www.uib.no/jais/elec_cit.htm (02 Jun. 2001).

 

Special JAIS Suggestions

An obvious weakness in most of the citation systems proposed is that they lack the precision of traditional paper citations. They generally do not go beyond the end file in the path, and the search capabilities of Internet browsers do not entirely make up for this. Below we propose how certain types of files may be cited and provide a number of examples.

1. Adobe Acrobat PDF files, if paginated, should be cited by URL and page numbers, as with printed documents. If they are not paginated, they must be cited as HTML (HTM, STM, etc.) files, as specified below.

3. Postscript (.PS) files should also be cited by URL and page numbers, as with printed documents.

4. MS Word files, since they vary according to the platform on which they are read, must be cited not only by URL but also as unpaginated HTML (HTM, STM, SGML, etc.) files, as specified below.

5. Paginated HTML (etc.) files, where the intended pagination is expressly given as part of the text (for example, as in the JAIS HTML files), should be cited by URL and page numbers, as with printed documents.

6. Longer unpaginated HTML (etc.) files should be cited by URL and section and paragraph numbers, if these are given. If there are no section or paragraph numbers, or the sections or paragraphs are of great length, the file may be cited by URL and the following (preceded by a comma):

at ts. [text string] "xxxx."

or

at tss. [text strings] "xxxx" and "yyyy."

or

from ts. "xxxx" to "yyyy."

or

from tss. "xxxx" to "yyyy," "xxxx1" to "yyyy1," and "xxxx2" to "yyyy2."


where "xxxx" stands for a characteristic string of words (usually 2 to 10) identifying the text section in question and "xxxx" and "yyyy" stand for characteristic strings of words identifying the beginning and ending of the text section. Choose strings more or less precisely at the beginning and end of the passage cited which are are of sufficient length or sufficiently unusual to make their occurrence earlier in the text unlikely. Please do not forget to enclose the text strings in quotation marks. For articles in languages other than English, the precise, standard equivalent of the expressions "text string" and "text strings" should be used. Abbreviations must be approved by the editor for the language in question.

Below are some examples of acceptable citation forms.

A. For short files only:

1. Jane Doe, "Options and Lack of Options," 14 Feb. 1996, http://www.website.edu/articles/jdoe_options.html (15 Feb. 2000).

B.  For PDF and other paginated files (the abbreviations "p." and "pp." may be omitted if the reference can only be to pages):

2. Jane Doe, "Options and Lack of Options," 14 Feb. 1996, http://www.website.edu/articles/jdoe_options.pdf, pp. 6, 26, 30 (15 Feb. 2000).

C. For unpaginated electronically published books, long reports, and the like (section, paragraph, article, etc., may be abbreviated or replaced by appropriate symbols, or another alternative to section and paragraph might be, for example: chapter 3, at text string "unusual proliferation of options," as below):

3. Jane Doe, The Theory of Options, June 1998, http://www.website.edu/books/jdoe_theory.html, section 1, paragraph 2 (15 Feb. 2000).

4. Jane Doe, "Report on Options," 14 Feb. 1996, http://www.website.edu/reports/jdoe_options.html, 1.5.2 (15 Feb. 2000).

D. For long unpaginated files lacking or with widely separated text divisions:

5. Jane Doe, "Options and Lack of Options," 14 Feb. 1996, http://www.website.edu/articles/jdoe_options.htm, at ts. "John's new red house" (15 Feb. 2000).

6. Jane Doe, "Options and Lack of Options," 14 Feb. 1996, http://www.website.edu/articles/jdoe_options.html, from tss. "John's new reed house" to "by the Red Sea" and "parting of the waters" to "Pharaoh's army."


Last modified October 23, 2007.

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