In my thesis, I have added some links as footnotes. I have seen it in some published papers also. But my supervisor tells me to not to add footnotes to them, but add citations.

The links I have added cannot be considered as direct references, therefore, as I think, I should not go for citations for them. They are not from published papers. They are just some links.

This is an example:

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Following link gives an example of a published paper with similar footnotes.(page number 4 of the pdf)


I am sort of confused now. What is the methodology I should follow?. Which way is correct?

1 Answer 1


A citation is a pointer to a source. While a URL is technically that, when universities say "citation" they mean something following a formal citation format. A citation typically includes an author, the title of the work, a publisher, and the date of publication. A URL, on the other hand, contains none of that, and if it turns into a dead link later, the reader of your thesis will have no idea what you accessed.

Following MLA style, your first citation would be:

"Sonic Annotator: A batch tool for audio feature extraction". Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary, University of London. n. d. Web. April 26 2016.

(Though note that in this particular case, the page actually includes instructions on how to cite the page!)

MLA does not require a URL, though it permits one. If using it, it goes at the end.

I'm using MLA as one commonly-used example, but you should ask your institution if they follow a particular style guide. If so, use its format.

  • Then your instruction is to add citations for these? isn't it? But what about the paper I have linked into the question?. I just need to know what should I go for. Citation or a footnote with just the link?
    – vigamage
    Apr 27, 2016 at 7:59
  • 1
    @vigamage there isn't a single universal style. Your supervisor asked for citations so use citations; that others use URLs really isn't germane unless you're trying to change your university's conventions. I don't think you want to do that. Apr 27, 2016 at 12:59

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