How to Find the Date a Web Page Was Published
The Internet is a treasure trove of information, offering current as well as archived information not generally found in print form. Educational institutions, recognizing the value of web publications, have issued citation standards for web pages and online articles. Generally, these standards require a citation stating when the web page was accessed (Ref 1), but you may also need to know when the web page was published. In some cases, this information may be unavailable. Yet before you write off locating the date, try a technique using the Google search engine.
Check the Article
Go to the web page. Look above or below the title for the publication date. The print may be light gray or very small, so look carefully.
Scroll to the end of the article. Some web masters may include the publication date at the end of the article in small, italicized text.
Scroll to the bottom of the web page. The publication date may be in the footer, the very end of the web page in the browser.
Open your web browser and go to the web page for which you want the publication date. Copy the website address in the Address Bar: click the mouse cursor in the Address Bar, select the entire address, press "Ctrl" and "C" to copy it. Close the web page or open another tab in your browser.
In the new browser window or browser tab, enter Google's address in the Address Bar (http://www.google.com). Press "Enter" on your keyboard.
On the Google web page, click the mouse cursor in the search box. Type in the following text (without the quotation marks): "inurl:". After this, press "Ctrl" and "V" to paste in the address you copied. You should see something like this: inurl:http://yourwebsite.com. Click the button "Google Search." Allow the results to load.
Go to the Address Bar. At the very end of the address in the Address Bar, type in the following (again, without the quotation marks): "&as_qdr=y15". Press "Enter."
View the search results and web page publication dates for the address and other pages on that website. Each publication date is shown at the beginning of each entry, under its title.
Tips & Warnings
- According to MLA Standards, if the web page publication date is unavailable, cite the date as "n.d." in your source list (Ref 4).
References & Resources
- Scottsdale Community College: Citing Resources: MLA Guidelines for Electronic and Print Sources 2011
- Cornell University Library; Critically Analyzing Information Sources; Joan Ormondroyd; April 2011
- University of California at Santa Barbara; Using Publishers' Web Sites for Reference Collection Development; Melissa Holmberg
- Purdue University: MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources - Web Publications
- Google; Google Help Center; Advanced Operators