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Faculty Guide: Faculty Attribution Guidelines

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Faculty Attribution Guidelines

Faculty Attribution Guidelines

                There are minimum requirements recognized throughout academia on the proper use of citations in the classroom setting.  This is especially true for many of the non-traditional resources found today such as web pages, wikis, blogs, e-mails and other faculty presentations.  Use the resources on this page as a guide when citing materials used in PowerPoint presentations, BLS Vista learning modules and class handouts. 

Web Sites:  When citing web sites, make certain to at least document the page or site author, title, the date accessed and the url or web address.

Author: The author can be an individual or a group.  If not found on a specific page, try to find the sites home page.  Often, the name of the responsible person or party will be found at the bottom of this page.  Or. Look for a portion of the site that says “About Us”

Title: The title of a web page will most often be found in the very top, left-hand portion of a web page (often blue with white lettering). 

Date Accessed:  If you are creating your citation from a print-out of a web page, the date accessed will be shown on the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

URL:  The easiest way to cite a URL (web site address) is to a) “select” the address in the location box at the top of the web page, b) “copy” it (using Ctrl+C on your keyboard) and c) “pasting” it in your citation.  TIP: If the url is very long, create a “Tiny URL” at this cite  Tiny URL can turn this address (the cell biology faculty list) - into this


APA Style

Lamar Soutter Library, U Mass Medical School. (2008). Lamar Soutter Library - University of Massachusetts Medical School. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from

MLA Style

Lamar Soutter Library, U Mass Medical School. "Lamar Soutter Library - University of Massachusetts Medical School." 2008. <>.


Online Journal Articles

                Online journal articles should be cited in the same manner as a traditional print article.  The exception is that a link to the resource should be added to the resource, either as a DOI (Digital Object Identifier – retrievable through or URL as shown in the below examples.

APA Style

Hatem D., Mazor K., Fischer M., Philbin M., & Quirk M. (2008). Applying patient perspectives on caring to curriculum development. Patient Education and Counseling, 72(3), 367-367-73. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.05.020

 MLA Style

Hatem D., et al. "Applying Patient Perspectives on Caring to Curriculum Development.” Patient Education and Counseling 72.3 (2008): 367,367-73. <>.


Blogs, Tweets & Other Social Media

            Citing content from social media tools also requires a citation style.  And, in the case of blogs, the accepted style can be very different between formats.  Note how APA requires the blog URL to be displayed.  MLA does not but it DOES require the date accessed.  Also note that in many instances, it can be difficult to determine an exact date of publication in a Facebook post, Tweet, etc.  If this is the case, use the abbreviation n.d.  In the below examples are a blog posting, the Facebook page for U Mass Med and a Tweet from the National Library of Medicine on the topic of February as American Heart Month.

APA Style

Levin, L. L., & Comes, J. F. (2008 ). U Mass Family Medicine - library corner. Message posted to

U Mass Memorial Medical Center. (n.d.).  In Facebook [Group Page].  Retrieved February 1, 2012, from

MLA Style

Levin, Leonard L., and James F. Comes. U Mass Family Medicine - Library Corner., 2008. September 23, 2008.

@nlm_newsroom.  Web log post.  1 Feb 2012.  Web. 1 Feb 2012.


 Cartoons & Images

          One of the best ways in which to get across a point in a lecture is by using humor, often in the form of a cartoon, as part of a lecture presentation.  Cartoons are often left un-referenced in a presentation but require citations just as in the resources above.  The same holds true for any image, whether the reproduction of a drawing, painting, photograph, etc. Please note that many cartoon, such as those from The New Yorker, are subject to strict usage guidelines, even in the classroom, and often require permission to use as well as a fee.



            A major difference in citing an e-mail communication versus the above is that it is impractical as well as impossible to include a link to a source that is and remains private and password restricted.  As a result, e-mail citations are much shorter and un-informative than other electronic citations.  Also, it is standard protocol to ask the senders permission to publish information sent in this fashion.  However, if information was received via e-mail and is used in a presentation or publication, it is essential to cite it as below.

APA Style

J.F. Comes, personal communication, September 23, 2008.

MLA Style

Comes, James F. "Re: Fitchburg Resident Training." Email to Len Levin. 23 Sep. 2008.


Other Faculty Presentations

            Citing lecture material and/or PowerPoint presentations delivered during an academic lecture is the least standard style of citation.  What is important to capture is a) the title of the lecture or PowerPoint presentation, b) the faculty member that delivered the presentation c) the date the presentation was given and d) the location.  These are all guideposts that a user can employ if they need to discover additional information about the cited source.


Cells of the CNS: Structure and Function.  A PowerPoint presentation delivered by Sue Gagliardi, March 24, 2006, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.



When using any image, whether scanned from a book or journal; or found via a Google image search, copyright must always be considered.  While attribution of the source of the image is important regardless of where it originated, depending on how and where the image will be used, a fee to the copyright holder may be required as well.  The Lamar Soutter Library offers some resources that allow faculty to use images (with attribution) in the classroom or within presentations given in posters or PowerPoint presentations at conferences and meetings.  One of these resources is the image bank in UpToDate.   If you have any concerns about copyright and the use of an image, consult the Lamar Soutter Library Copyright Resource Guide for further information.  There is also a copyright specialist, Barbara Ingrassia, on staff that can assist as well.  You can find her contact information on the resource guide.


How To Cite on a PowerPoint slide?

                When creating citations within a PowerPoint, it’s always best to a) add a citation on a slide where non-original material exists and b) include an end slide as a bibliography.  This assists both the user that may find the individual slide and the user that has downloaded an entire presentation.


In this case, the two citations fill up a great deal of space on the slide.  As this is often the norm, the standard for attribution should be as on the slide below, as long as you add the full citation at the end of the presentation.


What about unknown material?

          There will always be cases where you need to/want to use an image, quotation or other reference and its original source is unknown.  While you really should NOT use something that you can not attribute to an original source, this doesn’t mean that you should automatically set it aside and not use it.  Try Googling it – maybe you can find the source again using keywords, title words or any other “clues” from the material.  If this does not work and you really feel that your presentation would be lessened by leaving the material out, simply cite as much as you know.  For example, if you have a cartoon that you think was in Time Magazine but cannot remember or find the artist, date or any other information, cite it as such:



            Time cartoon?  [Source and date unknown].


For more information on proper citation formats, consult the following resources: