As you develop your research paper in the Chicago notes-biblio style, try to use print sources as well as online sources. You may find material originally created in the print form, particularly scholarly journal articles, published in databases such as ProQuest. Generally, online databases require a paid subscription, but your school, college or public library provides access to most sources.
Biblio Entry for Online Print Sources
When you create an entry for a print source, such as a book, that is available online, use the actual version you consulted for your paper. For example, if you checked out a book from the library, cite the print version. But, if you read it online, include the URL or DOI link. Place the link as the last element in the entry.
In Chicago style, you also add https://doi.org/ before the DOI locator. Place a period after the link to end the entry.
Creating Notes-Biblio Entry for Websites
Creating a bibliography entry for websites in the notes-biblio style is easy. The elements that make up this type of entry are the author, title of the page, title of the site, the owner and the publication date. Add the URL as the last element of the entry. If there is no date listed, use the date you accessed the site. If there is no author listed, use either the title of the website or the owner.
Include website sources in your notes; however, list them in the bibliography only if the source is used frequently or important to your argument in your school paper. The same goes for blog or social media posts. You may cite them in-text only without a note, if the source is not that important.
If you are using a blog for your source, again, include it in the notes section only, unless you feel it’s critical to your paper. If the website link does not indicate it is a blog, then include (blog) after the first element.
Social Media Posts
It is difficult to establish a stable link to social media posts. By their nature, these types of posts tend to disappear. You may consider taking a screenshot of the actual post for your records, in case you need to refer to it again.
Because of the temporary nature of social media posts, you do not include them in your bibliography but may include them in your notes. Another way to account for these sources is to cite them within your text. If you feel you need to create an entry in the notes-biblio section, then include a note.
Online Personal Communications
Treat personal communications, such as email correspondence or texts, in the same manner as social media posts. Do not create a bibliographic entry but do add a note. Include the key elements of the source:
- Name of other person
- Type of communication (e.g., email or text)
- Date of communication
If possible, cite them within the text. That way, you do not have to include them in the notes. Use your discretion, depending on the weight of the source.
Citing online sources in notes-biblio style is easy once you get the hang of it. Most importantly, keep your reader in mind. Ask yourself if the source is clearly stated and if the reader can find it easily. If both answers are yes, you’re good to go.