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Citation, Documentation of Sources
Q. I’m struggling with the correct format for websites. It’s when the author is unknown that I run into trouble. For a print source, we’d begin with the article title, but CMOS says that the website’s owner “may” be used as the author. Does “may” mean “should”? How do we distinguish between the website’s name and owner? For example, if I’m citing an authorless article from CNN.com, do I begin with CNN.com as the author, and then also include CNN.com as the website? Can you sort this out?
A. Of course we can. By “may” we do not mean “should.” We mean that listing the owner as the author is an option. You can begin with the article title instead, followed by CNN (in italics) as the title of the web page. If you’d rather have an “author,” however, CNN (not CNN.com) in roman type makes a fine one. CNN.com will appear in the URL you include.