Print vs. Digital Publishing


Print

  • printed documents have a tangible, physical form (we can pick up and feel a magazine or journal or book in our hands)
  • this tangible nature also gives an edition or revision a permanent nature
  • its usually possible to assign a date of publication to a work, and if there are revisions of different editions of a work, it's possible to date and look at the revisions
  • if a new edition of a printed work exists, that doesn't mean that older editions or versions were destroyed

Digital

  • don't have a tangible form
  • it's relatively easy for an author to publish a work (the work usually only needs to be in a certain directory on a computer that functions as a Web server.
  • it's easy to modify or revise a work
  • when a work is revised, the previous edition is usually destroyed or overwritten with a new version - the most recent version may be the only one that exists - therefore the version you cited may not exist anymore
  • it is therefore necessary to include the date you accessed or read a work you listed in a citation
  • you may want to keep a copy of the document in a file or print a copy to provide documentation if someone answers your questions

Ways to find out when a page was modified

  • to find the date a work was last revised, see if the date is mentioned as part of the work; you will often see a line like Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 in a Web document, usually at the bottom of the main page
  • you may also see something like this at the bottom of a page: Copyright@2007-2011
  • if you don't find this information on the Web page or you want to verify that date that is cited, you can try this technique for determining the date of a Web page. When you have a page loaded in your browser, type the following line of JavaScript code directly into the location bar: javascript:alert(document.lastModified) - this will activate a pop-up box that displays the time stamp
  • if you are unable to determine the date of the page, you can indicate this in the citation by inserting "n.d." in the appropriate place

Determining Web Page Titles

  • the title is what shows up as a hyperlink in the search results i you use a search engine
  • you may also find the title by selecting View/Page Info, or View/Page Source; the title is specified in the HTML source for the page and doesn't necessarily show up in the text of the document as you view it with a browser.
  • there are cases when the title is uninformative or not descriptive; in these situations, the main heading can be used
  • some documents have no title (If a document doesn't have a title, you can construct one by using the major heading or the first line of text. You should enclose this title in square brackets to show that you created it.

Source:

Hartman, Karen and Ernest Ackerman. Searching and researching on the Internet and the world wide web. Sherwood, OR: Franklin, Beedle & Associates, 2010.