Q. I am copyediting a nonfiction manuscript that contains citations of online news articles. We are hoping to use footnotes rather than endnotes for this book, and the URLs are very long and ungainly. The author’s proposed solution is to include only the web address for the news site’s home page and not the full article URL. I think it would be better to use a service to shorten these so that we can list a (currently) working URL for each specific article without taking up two or three lines of space for each one. Do you have any opinions on whether this is a sound practice or have any other suggestions for this kind of problem?
Q. In running text, what is the proper way to write out a URL—with the www or without?
Q. An online course I am building has many references to external websites. How should these be presented? I have been told to use both the name of the website and the URL but neither one should be hyperlinked. This sounds a little weird to me. Is there an official “right” way to do this?
Q. Have you established any rules for breaking web addresses at ends of lines? I would be inclined to break at the slash where possible, with no hyphen (keeping the address intact), but what about the “dots”? Example: eic.edu.gov.on.ca/html/dsbmaps.html (I’ve got another one that’s a line and a quarter long!).
Q. Should a sentence that ends with a website address end with a period that is not part of the address? I am concerned that people who are not familiar with how URLs work might have trouble finding a site if they assume that the final period is part of the address. I have the same concern about putting a web address in quotation marks. Have you found any effective way of making sure people will be able to tell website addresses from surrounding punctuation?
Q. In a story where the last text provides an URL, website, or email address, should it not have a period at the end? I find sometimes clicking on the URL it does not take one directly to the displayed location if a period follows.
Q. If a website breaks at the end of a line in type where a period occurs, does the period belong at the end of the line or at the beginning of the next line?
Q. Dear Q&A, We are an undergraduate academic library where students access most of the articles they cite from online databases such as EBSCO HOST Academic Search Premier. Our faculty would like to know how you would suggest citing articles from this source, as the URLs on these databases are not persistent. Thank you.
Q. An article in the Washington Post (“On the Web, Research Work Proves Ephemeral,” by Rick Weiss, November 24, 2003) reports that URLs often become obsolete. It also says that there are lots of errors even in citations to conventional sources. What’s a researcher to do?
Q. I noticed an article about CMOS that referred to this website address without the “www.” See University of Chicago Magazine, August 2003, page 40: “A New Web Site (chicagomanualofstyle.org) . . .” Is this okay?