I'm not even sure if I need to since I often see statistics on website and blog posts without a source. Do I need to? And how should I do it?

From what I've seen when the source is mentioned, people usually do it one of these ways:

Blah blah blah 922% (Name of source)

Blah blah blah 12312% (Name of source, Year Published)

Which of those are correct? And do I need to do something different if I reword the statistic?

  • I'd put the citation in a footnote. There is no reason to breakup your flow with an inline citation. Aug 13, 2014 at 5:41

3 Answers 3


Absolutely cite any hard numbers you use. It's good practice and not nearly common enough, which means it should be encouraged. Given how quickly statistics become outdated, I would definitely cite at least the year of the study/article/whatnot. On Wikipedia some editors would include the date of publication and also date accessed, which is relevant to web sources. I don't think that's mandatory, though. Use it if you have reason to believe the source is likely to be edited, e.g. a blog post.


The APA style recommends the following for citing anything from web sites (which would include any claim you're reporting from one):

New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Retrieved March 21, 2001, from http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/story_13178.asp

Cite in text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title.: ("New Child Vaccine," 2001).

Include the URL you used (I would make it an active link if you're writing on the web) and the date you retrieved it (because the web is not static).

Whether you're directly quoting a source or summarizing its contents, it's important to cite that source. This helps readers verify your claims.


If the concern is your blog post, I would recommend you either:

a) The hedgehog is 25% more spiky, if raised in temperature 5°C less than average (source)


b) According to the new study from DPKR, the hedgehog is 25% more spiky, if raised in temperature 5°C less than average


Several people are nowadays afraid of SEO, so they do something like this:

c) The hedgehog is 25% more spiky, if raised in temperature 5°C less than average (source: Google)

But my personal view is: Give credit to the original source and let your readers have a chance to visit the source.

And even in the case when original source seems to be "dodgy" (Here I used DPKR science research as an example)

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