You are not currently logged in.

Login through your institution for access.


Log in through your institution.

The Columbia Guide to Online Style

The Columbia Guide to Online Style: Second Edition

Janice R. Walker
Todd Taylor
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 2
Pages: 312
Stable URL:
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Columbia Guide to Online Style
    Book Description:

    The Columbia Guide to Online Style is the standard resource for citing electronic and electronically accessed sources. It is also a critical style guide for creating documents electronically for submission for print or electronic publication.

    Updated and expanded, this guide now explains how to cite technologies such as Web logs and pod casts; provides more guidance on translating the elements of Columbia Online Style (COS) citations for use with existing print-based formats (such as MLA, APA, and Chicago); and features additional guidelines for producing online and print documents based on new standards of markup language and publication technologies.

    This edition also includes new bibliographic styles for humanities and scientific projects; examples of footnotes and endnotes for Chicago-style papers; greater detail regarding in-text and parenthetic reference and footnote styles; an added chapter on how to locate and evaluate sources for research in the electronic age; and new examples for citing full-text or full-image articles from online library databases, along with information on how to credit the source of graphics and multimedia files.

    Staying ahead of rapidly evolving technologies, The Columbia Guide to Online Style continues to be a vital tool for online researchers.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50698-4
    Subjects: Technology
    × Close Overlay

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-xiv)
  3. List of Figures and Tables (pp. xv-xvi)
  4. Preface (pp. xvii-xxiv)

      The starting point for most research is no longer the library but the World Wide Web. To some, this statement may seem heretical; to others, however, it is merely descriptive: students today are likely to begin any research project by using a search engine to locate material, often with tragic results.

      The problem is twofold. First, knowing where to search for reliable Information on a given topic is complicated by the chaotic and shifting nature of the World Wide Web. Like trying to hit a moving target, locating sources on the Internet can be frustrating, unreliable, and erratic. Sites move...

    • 2 THE LOGIC OF CITATION (pp. 29-62)

      Citation is the practice of systematically indicating the origins of thoughts, ideas, knowledge, or words that one uses to author a report, essay, article, speech, book, Web site, or other work. The key to understanding the logic behind citation lies in understanding the systems upon which it is based. Those who believe the primary purpose of citation is to monitor and police authors misunderstand the logic of the practice. Many have learned to perceive citation as a series of difficult rules employed solely to counter plagiarism, to ensure that authors and publishers of original work receive proper intellectual and financial...


      The primary elements of a bibliographic reference are the same for most styles of documentation, although the order in which they are presented may vary. This chapter gives examples of citations according to a humanities style based on MLA criteria but modified to make sense for electronic and electronically accessed sources. For a scientific style based on APA criteria, see chapter 4. For other styles, you can translate the various required elements (e.g., author’s name(s), titles, dates, etc.) following the models in these two chapters. See also appendix D for some examples of styles using footnotes and endnotes.

      Citations usually...


      Like humanities styles, scientific styles usually follow a two-step process: first, a note in the text acknowledges information, words, or ideas from other sources, and second, a bibliographic entry is included in the list of references for all sources cited in the text, providing full publication information. In addition to the author’s last name and page number, scientific styles also include the year of publication either in parentheses directly following the mention of the author’s name in the text or in the parenthetic note following the author’s name. For example,

      (Walker & Taylor, 1998, p. 104)

      Walker and Taylor (1998) explain...

    • 5 THE LOGIC OF DOCUMENT STYLE (pp. 149-160)

      Style, in the broadest sense of the term, refers to a wide range of issues and standards for producing documents. It relates to decisions regarding syntax, word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, and figures of speech, as well as punctuation, spelling, capitalization, citation, and document format. Issues of word choice and structure are particularly subjective. Consider the two different styles illustrated in the following example: “I spend approximately five hours per day using my networked computer” and “I live online.” Neither of these ways of expressing the same basic thought is necessarily better than the other, and the appropriateness of...

    • 6 CREATING DOCUMENTS FOR PRINT (pp. 161-196)

      In this chapter we define standards for using word-processing software to produce hard-copy (i.e., paper) documents for submission either in print form only or in conjunction with digital copy on disk or another medium. These standards are designed primarily to help two groups of people: (1) students and teachers who exchange written assignments and (2) authors, editors, and publishers who exchange documents and files intended for print publication. (Standards for producing documents to be published electronically are presented in chapter 7.)

      Before getting into the specifics of these standards, we need to emphasize a cardinal rule regarding working with word...


      This chapter presents effective standards and guidelines for authors, editors, and publishers who wish to create digital documents that are easily transferable from one application or platform to another, especially if these texts are to be published on computer networks, such as the WWW. Authors whose work will be published on a computer network should follow the standards described in this chapter. This chapter is not intended to itemize all the ins and outs of markup languages; for that, you should buy one of the many guides already in print or visit W3C’s HTML tutorial at as a place...

  7. Appendixes
  8. Glossary (pp. 265-278)
  9. Index (pp. 279-288)