Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. The author of a scholarly book in media studies cites Alexa more than once as a source in the bibliography as a website (As in “Alexa, what are the top . . .?”). Does Alexa belong in a scholarly bibliography, and if so, is it in fact a website?

A. There is no aspect of social media that is outside the scope of scholarly research. If someone is writing a dissertation on an aspect of Alexa, they’re going to be quoting Alexa. Bibliographies normally contain websites, so Alexa.com is a qualified candidate. A single Alexa announcement may be quoted in the text or in a note along with relevant information (access date, device, software version number, browser, operating system, etc.), rather than in a formal citation. A bibliography entry for individual announcements is unnecessary.