I would like to cite a webpage which I am accessing with credentials through my academic institution. In this case (and I've seen this often) my institution is indicated in the url. For example:


Given that this url seems dynamic and will not be effective for others attempting to access the page, what is the best way to cite this page? In this particular case, the page gives no option for permanent link or link to this page or anything like that.

  • What type of information are you accessing at this URL? Is it available in any other format? Is there any other non-electronic document you can cite with the same information?
    – eykanal
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 13:14
  • @eykanal This is the site for Ulrichs Periodicals Directory. The problem there is twofold: 1) I don't have physical access to the print edition, and 2) the latest print ed. I could even ILL is 13 years old.
    – JakeParis
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


I think your intention of not citing an URL like that is correct, since it won't be useful to anybody outside your institution (and maybe not even within, if the URL is session specific). It doesn't make sense to give information in the bibliography which is not useful to the general reader.

First, check whether there are other means to cite the content. If it is a journal publication, you may not need an URL: generally, the standard bibliographic information including the journal name, volume, and page numbers is sufficient. Also check whether the content has a DOI. Then you should always be able to link to it via http://dx.doi.org/<DOI>.

If there is no way to refer to this content such that the general public can access it, then it is just not citable. You can only cite publicly available material, and not everything on the internet is publicly available (think about a Google Mailbox in the extreme case).

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